While I’m walking down a fairly empty street in Soho I am passed by a very tall and attractive girl, obviously a model. The neighborhood is littered with them and they are easy to identify because of their height, the standard no-makeup on perfect face and the long, expensively coiffed but messy, natural brown hair. She also had on the sneakers and high quality but standard looking wool coat they always wear.
So our model does that really annoying thing that is a staple of NY rudeness, the pass and cut off move where the person speeds up just fast enough to pass you, then cuts in really close and steps in front of you so that you have to slow your speed for a second. This is an annoyance technique that works twofold: first, you have the sudden invasion of your space by a body coming up from behind and veering too close, second you get the forced stride break that jams up your energy and motion.
And me, being my cranky January self, decided not to slow down and stepped on her heel. I might even go so far to admit that I may have purposely timed my foot to step on it. It is not easy to admit that I am so incredibly immature, but there it is. I’ll state it for the record: at times I am incredibly immature. Many moments throughout the day I strive to take the high road, but once in a while, especially when it’s cold and I’m cranky and late for work and don’t want to be cut off when there’s plenty of frigging space for two people on the sidewalk, I let my lower nature take over and do its rotten thing.
But then I felt a little bit badly about the bratty behavior, so I said, “Sorry!” To which our tall beauty turned around and gave me the dirtiest of looks. I mean, she looked at me like I was a bug. Which of course just goaded me back into being even more rotten, so I added, “But you shouldn’t cut people off.”
She swung her head around and angrily mouthed the words, “What did you say?”. She actually said it out loud, I’m sure, but I had my Ipod blasting and I couldn’t hear anything except Ryan Adams whining about whatever girl he was ruining at songwriting time. Then very quickly she twisted around so that she was walking very closely by my side and started jamming her elbow into my arm. I was stunned. I have never experienced this bizarre and particular move, and said (probably too loudly because I couldn’t hear), “What the fuck are you doing??”
She continued to elbow me and look at me threateningly while saying things that I couldn’t hear. I gaped up at her unbelievingly and assessed the situation. Could I take her? She was incredibly tall and obviously crazy. How humiliating would it be to have my ass kicked in public by a model! Oh, the red-faced shame of it…
And truthfully, I don’t know that I have enough rage left in me to engage in fisticuffs anymore. Although still cranky, I am lazy and somewhat contented in my dotage. So I said, “Look, I said I was sorry, but if you don’t want to have your heels stepped on you shouldn’t cut people off like that.” At least that’s what I think I said, it was all happening very fast and internally I was veering wildly from adrenaline fight mode to total outside-of-body amusement at the ridiculous situations I regularly get myself into. And while this was going on Ryan continued to cry a river in my ears because I was too disconcerted to shut the ipod down.
Then just as quickly as she veered into me, she turned sharply and veered into the street, still muttering words forever unheard and leaving me feeling stunned, a little bit frightened, and weirdly giggly.
And this, my friends, is a first-hand account of when models attack. I am relieved and happy to say that I escaped unscathed, and perhaps a little wiser. Next time I step on a model’s heel I’ll make sure the ipod is turned off first so I won’t miss what she says.