After School Special (Needs)

Latchkey I know I’m probably the only one upset by 80-degree temperatures in mid-April–flip flop low-rise lovers eat this overly balmy shit up. Summers are supposed to be hot, duh, but it’s barely even spring and I should be getting use out of my closeted light jackets and sweaters, not sweating in short sleeves. The heat is startling, but what I forget until it gets warm is how freaking noisy living in a first floor apt. is. And honestly, our street is pretty low traffic for the neighborhood. I was forced to take the duct tape off the windows (for insulation) on Sunday and the racket immediately began wafting in, and not even in full effect because I’ve gathered that school is out this week. I should revel in the peace for the next few days. I was struck Tuesday morning (I didn’t go to work Monday because I’ve been feeling respiratorally pained all week—I am going to be so pissed if I have lung cancer, it’d be my punishment for not caring enough about Dana Reeve) by the eerie empty streets on my walk to the subway. What gives?

Apparently, spring break. I guess this is what educated upper middle class parents do? Take off work to spend time with their children? Gross. Actually, from what I’ve gathered around my office, it’s more of a supervisory, keeping an eye on the kids thing, rather than a let’s enjoy each other’s company moment. Have New Yorkers not heard of latchkey kids? If embracing the ‘80s is as in as media would have you believe, then parents all over the city should be sending their kids home alone to watch crappy tv and eat microwavable bagel pizzas (my rules were no using the stove, no soap operas on TV, no answering the door and no friends over, and once in second grade I did open the door and had a friend come in and to cover tried to make up some lie about having them over because I was scared, even though I wasn’t scared, I just wanted a friend over, which was the wrong thing to say because it made me look emotionally immature. My parents were serious hard asses, and if they said no breaking the rules, that really meant no breaking the rules, so I lost the privilege of getting to take care of myself and had to go to goddamn day care after school where they let a neighborhood guy with Down Syndrome chase the kids).

So, I haven’t been mistaken in my demographic assessment of my neighborhood. It clearly consists 95% of young (I use that term loosely—there are a lot of first-time forty-something mommies lumped in there) families. Because I’m not exaggerating, I made it an entire block before seeing another human being, which is rare, as I’m usually bombarded by strollers, hand-holding couples, dogs and the loud non-white children (out of curiosity, I checked board of ed stats to try and figure out what kind of school it is, like test scores, grade or middle [some of those kids are giant by adult standards] countries of origin, etc. And I’m still confused because I don’t understand the NYC public school system, but three separate schools were listed at that address. Do they do that? One seemed to have decent scores and fewer immigrants and the other two were a total mess, academically. I’m not saying that being ESL makes you naturally dumber, but it certainly doesn’t give you a leg up in a crowded classroom) that are shipped in to attend the school across from my bedroom window. I saw a few women in their twenties, a couple short, young Mexican guys, a weird old curmudgeon guy with a backpack and an uncharacteristic-for-the-neighborhood (heck, the whole city) mullet and moustache dude who was the only one asked by the cops near the turnstiles to show them his bag. I guess I don’t look suspicious since I’ve never been stopped yet (just wait till my commute home).

I fear next week when the riff raff is back on the street and the moms are back in my office.

One thought on “After School Special (Needs)

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