Thursday, January 28, 2010

Caca- Segundo Capitulo

So I have already bitched and bitched about the poo poo problem on the streets of Buenos Aires – no one picks up their dog shit. Boo and hoo. Every day walking on the street is akin to a field of landmines, watching your every step as though it could be the last (well, for that pair of shoes anyway).

I thought I had all my caca issues under control. Remain vigilant, especially in the morning (what creature doesn’t drop a load between the hours of 8 and 11am?). But this week, they got me.

Of course I don’t realize it when it happens. I arrive at my slightly snooty gym (there is a snootier one a block away) and head for the elliptical. I get on and start moving, putting my ipod on and enjoying my new gym mix. And then, it beings - a musty, gaggy, repulsive, treacherous and disgusting stench. At first, I look around. Could it be the guy two machines over, sweating a tad piggishly as he huffs and puffs to nowhere? Or the woman striding with purpose up an imaginary hill? Yes, it must her. How gross I think, imaging what in the world she must have done to herself (or not done to herself) to bring such a foul odor onto all of us.

Before too long, the smell faded and I continue my sweatfest. I strolled over to the weights – arms, back, chest, those little triceps all get their due. Wiped out, I collapsed onto a mat to stretch a bit and then, it starts again. That tang, that vicious olfactory assault that had nearly killed me an hour earlier. I frantically looked around for Lady Reek, but she was nowhere to be found.

This could mean only one thing – I was Lady Reek.

Shit (literally)! I quickly look down to my lovely Adidas Supernovas (the only shoe for me, I love them) and sandwiched in the little cavities of the bottom of my sneaker is shit, shit and shit.


I leave in embarrassment (after all, I was Lady Reek to everyone else) and when I get to the street, I begin scraping my shoe wildly against the sidewalk, like an animal with a bad itch. But the shit is just caked in after 45 minutes of cardio pounding.

Pissed off, I walk home. I take off my shoes outside the front door, carry them inside and stick them on the patio, leaving the smell for my neighbors to enjoy. What the hell did this dog eat?

I avoiding going to the gym yesterday because I just didn’t want to deal with my shitty shoes. But today, feeling brave, I put on rubber gloves, grabbed the paper towels and held my nose. Done and done, shit-free run.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Knowing What Matters

I have been in the US for the holidays and for a little business time, doing my usual east coast lap from Ft. Lauderdale to NYC to DC. It’s a familiar route at this point in my life that’s spread around across two continents, two time zones and two languages.

Before I embark on these multi-week schleps, I try to organize coffees, meetings, lunches, cocktails, dinners, chats, gym dates or whatever to catch up with people, organize more work, get some gossip or even get some love (love has many forms, you filthy freakshow).

As you can imagine, this is not only time consuming trying to organize all these type-A people’s schedules (No, I can’t do Wednesday, I have my shrink or well, if the lawyers get back to me, I won’t be able to do 3pm – that kind of shit), but it’s just nuts to actually follow through and do EVERY SINGLE THING you overcommitted yourself to when you were sitting in the summertime and chilling out. But inevitably after three weeks of dragging your ass through the winter, a cold starts to bud, digits are perpetually frozen and a you have a stump speech on what’s been going on that would make an incumbent senator a little jealous.

Truthfully, it’s all lovely: all the friends, all the festivities, all the food, all the memoires. Everyone is happy to see you; you are happy to see them. But there are other people, the people who you once imbibed with countless glasses of fancy wine and canap├ęs who don’t return your calls or your emails. The people who you thought were friends that once you unplugged from the matrix, no longer want anything to do with you. I don’t have tons of these types but there are some people who have mysteriously disappeared from the universe. Hmmm.

When I first started doing these east coast tours and I didn’t hear back from these ghosts, I felt sort of bad. What happened to my friends? Then I realized that these people were never my friends – they were part of the transactional life that has overtaken life in the big city. And now that I can only regale folks with tales of my wacky Argentine life or third world wanderings, I don’t have something they think of as valuable.

The good news is that people I never thought of as particularly close have also come out of the woodwork, becoming good friends even when I am far away. These people have served as inspiration and support and I am more grateful than ever for them.

I no longer feel bad about these spirits that have disappeared. And I don’t even bother sending those emails anymore, I just enjoy my wonderful, amazing North American friends.