Disclaimer: This post is gross. Maybe too gross for you. Proceed with caution.
Review courtesy of The Awesome Opossum: “It’s not that gross.”
The absolute best thing about living in New York is the privacy individuals enjoy in public. No matter how gross the behavior or person, it can proceed unchecked by society at large. Crying on the subway is totally fair. Clipping your toenails in a park is not encouraged, but I’ve seen it more than once from a person who looked like they had a home in which to groom. Donald Trump is allowed to live here, unmolested, despite what a festering blight on humanity he is. For me, there is a glaring exception to this rule.
I used to wait tables in the West Village until 2 AM and then take the One train to the Upper West Side, fully, or at least mostly, sober. I spent each and every one of those train rides home frozen in panic that some drunk person was going to throw up on me. Once I saw someone throw up kind of near me and this guy sitting next to me was like, “It’s okay girl; it happens to everyone.” I was not nearly so charitable. I am transfixed by abandoned vomit on the street, staring it down as though it were a feral cat, ready to leap at me should I fail for even a moment to assert dominance.
I am also a horrible hypocrite. Several years ago, after too many post-work margaritas and not enough post-work food, I got on the One Train at 42nd Street realized I was going to hurl, jumped off the train, did so in a trashcan, and jumped right back onto the same train car with the same horrified people staring at me in fear. I knew that fear. I quietly respected it the entire way home.
Hearing about the incident at the Broadway show, Grace, where an audience member seated in the mezzanine unburdened his or her stomach on the audience members below chills me to the core. A nightmare for the actors on stage, the vomiter, and of course the vomitees; a living hell from which they can never recover. If I were puked upon, I would never be able to leave my house again. That would be the end of my life in the world at large. If I had to continue performing onstage while someone was trying to put the pieces together of the exact moment his or her life was changed forever the craft of acting would be forever spoiled to me. And, if I were the person who ruined all those lives, I would probably die of embarrassment on the spot. I have endured the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune with élan, but no one comes back from surprise puking on someone’s head from 12 feet above them.