On the second day of my period during a marital separation, feeling extra hormonal and mopey, I hopped on a bicycle and passed a scene that could only happen in New York. A scruffy-looking fellow who I probably would have mistaken for homeless except that he was riding an expensive-looking bicycle, was BLASTING Sinead O’Connor’s rendition of “Nothing Compares 2 U,” which—under the circumstances—brought tears to my eyes. I pedaled behind him for a few blocks, listening to the mournful tune and wallowing in my melancholy when the homeless-looking fellow sounded his horn, not the usual “ding” heard on a bicycle’s handlebars but rather, the “squeak” one might otherwise associate with a clown car. I laughed in spite of the tears that had formed at the corners of my eyes.
Sinead wailed, “Tell me baby, where did I go wrong?” 🎶
In between verses, the cyclist honked his clown horn: Squeak, squeak.
I thought about the supervisor at my last internship, who, thinking me too serious, had said: “My wish for you is that you learn to find the hilarity in life.” The clown horn had done it for me: hilarious, and even moreso because in this city, no one batted an eye. Scruffy dude, nice bike, boom box blasting vintage Sinead, and clown horn. Typical Sunday.
I docked my bike at the subway station and descended the stairs to the train platform, where I sat next to a bodybuilder with a tattoo on his right bicep that read, “I must endure the things I cannot change.”
When my train arrived, I stepped into a packed train car that reeked of urine. An infant a few feet away yowled in her stroller while her mother scrolled her smartphone. Meanwhile, Mr. Preachy Tattoo sitting next to me was a clear reminder to try, for now, to endure that which could not be changed.
I am strong enough to get through this.
Squeak, squeak. 😂