I went to the dentist yesterday. A new dentist, right on 1st about a block away from footsies. It’s not that I need to keep my health professionals in close proximity bars, but it’s not a terrible idea considering I’m allergic to analgesics as well as needles. And blood. Anyway. I’ve made efforts to move most of my appointments to the neighborhood… because at least if I have to take time off, I don’t have to fight traffic or humans just for something like an obligatory cleaning.
The dentist happened to be an older gentleman who wore a suit under his white coat thing. I appreciated his formality as I am very fancy as well. His entire staff reminded me of the cast of Golden Girls and we were best friends immediately. The decor was questionable and made me a bit nervous at first…a mix of kitten and cat posters awkwardly stuffed into cheap brass colored plastic frames. Could I trust someone with such judgement to accurately assess something as near and dear to me as my oral hygiene? (I’m obsessed.) When the dentist and the gals collectively asked where I lived….and I said “here”…they all were very confused. ‘HEREeeeeee?!?……”Oh you go to Russell Sage? I went there too!”
Well no….I’m 30…but seriously thank you for just almost confusing me with someone young enough to live in a dorm. When I explained I lived a block away, they were all VERY perplexed, with a side of shock. This is an expression I am very experienced in and recognized right away. As I studied her furrowed white brow, I instinctively wanted to up the ante. “I love it here. I would really rather die than live anywhere else, honestly.” (Pause, pause, pause. )As the golden women said fake hopeful things like “I heard they are really trying to clean up the city…” and another “Well, it must be nice to be so close to the police station….. and you can get on the highway really quickly and get places!” I smiled a longgggg smile, right before I flew into autopilot and started selling my city to this bunch.
But when I was interrupted by “but you must feel threatened pretty often!”…..in the kind of voice than was as sure as it was squeaky, I assured them that I really never felt in danger. (Sidebar: the latest I am out is probably 12:30 and don’t make general habits of walking alone late at night in any city.) When I was describing my sweet favorite street and jovial neighborhood BBQ’s and friends and happiness and love, I was immediately met by recommendations of where to buy mace. I eventually caved and accepted that me and the Golden Girls weren’t ever gonna be on the same page. I could tell they thought I was weird….but nice. Kind of like what my dad thought when I carried my dinner outside to eat alone under a tree for an entire hottest summer on record when I was 9. He didn’t get it and preferred to eat his corn on the cob by the warm/cold electric glow of TV and air conditioning combo. He wondered about me, but he was happy if I was happy. At the end of my visit, they all gathered round and called out in unison “stay safe out there!” and watched curiously as I walked unarmed onto 1st street.
It always surprises me when people feel afraid of Troy. I know that we are shaking off a gritty past and some years worth being afraid of, but in all of the time I have lived here I have only been afraid of things like lightning and the generosity of spirit that could get you involved in 3-5 drinks on someones stoop when you were just going out for milk. It was scary the one time we all heard gunshots, and it’s TERRIFYING that I can get 5 hot dogs and a soda for 4 dollars. (And kill it.) And it was very scary the day tax assessments arrived in 2nd street mailboxes….but other than that it’s been pretty charming over here, at least from my perspective. No judgement of those who are not most comfortable in a downtown….I’m scared of the country and I always have been. The cornfields kill me and the feeling that no one will be around to hear you scream or talk about nothing important makes me incredibly uncomfortable.
Unlocked doors, animals making sounds, aliens, ghosts, and the weird little stores that carry things from ropes, to ammo, to bologna subs, Burt Reynolds’ Deliverance mustache, polyester t shirts, expired condoms, VHS rentals, etc…….how do people sleep at night?
There’s something for everyone, and I ain’t even almoooosssst about that. So. Let’s talk. What isssss the scariest thing about Troy?
(Ike, I’ll save you a step and let you know that it’s surely NOT my face. For the record.)
****We are all unique snowflakes….but I’m pretty sure Hoosick Street hellscape driving is definitely ranking top 5.