Hard Month

by

10/12/2001

W 57th St & Broadway, New York, NY 10019

Neighborhood: Midtown

The Cosmetics Plus at 57th and Broadway is having a clearance sale. They’re going out of business. I buy two small white tubs of Cool Goo at 20% off.

The woman behind the counter is carefully made-up, but her appearance she self-describes with blunt accuracy to no one in particular: “My bags are twice the size today.”

“It’s been hard to sleep,” I say to her. “It’s just a haaaard time,” she says, drawing out the word. “Ever since the Trade Center,” the place itself standing in metonymically for the event, “I’m up half the night.”

“That’s where I worked,” she tells me. “That was my job. On the mezzanine. They transferred me up here, and now it’s closing.”

“And your family and friends?”

“I lost like six customers I used to see regularly. They’re all dead. And one of my close girlfriends.”

“I’m so sorry,” I say.

“First that. And all this war shit. And now this damned store…” She walks away to the other register to rummage for something, to get me a bag. “Is there anywhere else they can place you?” I ask.

“They’re closing all the stores. The entire chain. Shuttered. Here you go, Sweetheart.” She hands me my bag. “It’s just been a haaaard month.”

“Well, good luck to you,” I tell her.

“Thank you,” she tells me. We look each other in the eyes. We smile. Sadly. “It’s just been a haaaard month.”

Comments
Rate Story
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (No Ratings Yet)
Loading...

§ Leave a Reply

Other Stories You May Like

Nearby Midtown Stories

Sodom and Gomorrah, Revisted

by

All of Manhattan tilts towards that magnetic field of neon.

Tulips and Addresses

by

The Museum of Modern Art on West Fifty-third Street is only interested in the flower not the bulb.

Going to Washington D.C.

by

Along the way one of the female bandits deftly scaled a lamppost and duct taped a black flag to the top.

Transit Strike In The Diamond District

by Thomas Beller

On the first day of the New York City transit strike of 2005 I went to talk to Rosa Gutgold. She sells pearls...

Strange People Touching My Body

by

"Just before its doors closed, he thrust his head inside and announced: 'CROWDED TRAIN . . . SEX ABUSE . . . STRANGE PEOPLE .