city strangeness

I went to lunch with an old friend of mine, Artie Hasegawa.  We went to this really cool ramen shop at 56th and 6th Ave.  Delicious, inexpensive.  But, that’s not what this post is about.

On my way to the restaurant, an old woman standing on her front stoop called to me for help.  She was dressed in her nightie and seemed troubled.  It was really cold, too, so it seemed she was in trouble.  She explained that her lights went out, and would I help her get them going.  I really hesitated as my spidey-senses went to tingling.  However, for whatever reason, I was compelled to help her.

I entered the small apartment.  Catholic iconery was strewn everywhere.  She explained that she was trying to plug in her space heater when the lights went out.  She couldn’t reach the circuit breaker box, and therefore couldn’t reset the circuits.  She gave me a flashlight and pointed me to the circuit breaker box.  I flipped all the circuits back and forth, since none of them had tripped.  No dice.

I informed her that something else was wrong and she should call someone for help (trying to exit as soon as possible).  However, I noticed that she had only a cordless phone and wouldn’t be able to make a call.  I offered to let her use my cell phone and explained why she’d need to.  Instead, she asked if I would go to the restaurant next door and apprise them of her situation.  “Let them know Mrs. King needs some help”.  I quickly availed myself of the opportunity to leave the apartment and informed the bartender at said establishment of Mrs. King’s predicament.  He phoned the maintenance man.

I felt I should let her know that someone was on the way, and so I knocked on her door, poked my head in and told her.  She replied that she had found “another button” and would I try the switches one more time.  I hesitatingly agreed, and voila!  The lights came back on.  She thanked me and blessed me.  I told her to go ahead and talk with the maintenance person to see why the power went out in the first place.  As quickly as I could, I left to eat some hot ramen.

So weird.