where do i begin?

i guess i’ll begin at the beginning.

i took a subway train today and went to wall street.
that”s where the new york city business center is located. you pay all sorts of tickets there. you go to court for traffic, parking, business and health department tickets and other things i don’t know about and don’t want to learn about.
it’s like an ATM for the new york city department of finance.
there’s even phone kiosks in the lobby for payments, as if you were buying movie tickets.

i had to go to health department court. i had to go because i wasn’t in my store when the health inspector arrived (i live upstairs next door and was there in minutes but yes, i was wrong not to be there) and we didn’t have ingredients labels on our carrot cake.
you can look it up on the new york department of health and mental hygiene website.
we do our best to look after our little coffeehouse.
i went, pleaded and was fined. it (the fine) was as much as having buddy, my buddy, strolling around the place when a non-cat lover inspector walked in three years ago. i’ll leave it at that. i left and decided to take a walk.
after all, i was in the canyon of finance. i was in what was the center of the financial world.

this place was was weird. the air in this part of town was “stunned”
Main Entry: stunned
Part of Speech: adjective
Definition: dazed
Synonyms: aghast, amazed, astonished, astounded, bewildered, blown away, bowled over, breathless, confounded, confused, dismayed, dumbfounded, flabbergasted, floored, frozen, numb, overcome, overwhelmed, shocked, speechless, startled, stumped, stupefied, surprised, taken aback

it’s not the “stunned” you might remember when the towers went down. it’s the post-disaster stunned that makes you think about your life, direction, values and future.
maybe it’s the moral ambiguity kind of stunned; the kind of thing that makes you wonder why we do what we do, whatever it is, though more likely down there these days than in the garment center.

people are going about their business but it’s all slightly off-kilter

this is strange. it’s lunch hour and the streets aren’t wall street busy and a lot of the people i passed as i walked are tourists.
i walked in a circle, strolling north on nassau street looking for a place to eat some lunch.
there used to be a bunch of seedy bars with scantily-clad barmaids when i was working for the department of city planning in 1972. i had a friend who had a job there and he got a few of us from the neighborhood jobs. i was a printer and a map-room guy. we sold new york city maps, all kinds of them and we went to the nassau bar or the kino bar and flirted with the barmaids who worked in teddies, lingerie or bathing suits.
we ate greasy burgers and drank beer. some of us even would end up dating some of the barmaids. we were young and cute. the girls were a bit older and wonderfully carniverous.
things never change you know.
everybody was/is looking for the young blood.
but i digress.
i decided that i was going back to the new york city business center and confront the parking violations bureau..
last june my car was stolen. the car was driven all over east new york and ticketed five or six times. when i got the car back, i sent all of the tickets back with police documentation and a letter explaining about the car theft. a month later, a reply from the city said, “no, you’re guilty.” i paraphrased that. since then, i’ve been waiting for a tow truck to come and repo my car for the tickets i didn’t pay. my mind froze over this situation for the next four months. today, i decided to fight the tickets. i needed to get this to some sort of end.
i returned and spent the next hour or so waiting to be seen by a judge.
i brought my documentation.
i lost on the eleventh floor and won on the mezzanine.

it was a wash.

About stephen trimboli

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