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The day had gone along quite well- not as enjoyable a start as walking to my Monday morning gig (yoga class) with a crescent moon smiling down on me in the morning darkness and sweet silent calm of New York City not yet awake. Today, at an equally early hour, the subway had arrived easily , the change station equally timely, always a factor of unknown consideration. After the 6:45 am class I walked into the bright chillness of a windy day, colder than usual for March but beautiful all the same, my wild goose chase errand of the day taking me to the Federal Plaza thirty first floor, only to come off the elevator to hallways full of locked office doors. I knocked on one, luckily a kind man answered, only to be sent to the nearby 290 Broadway, now my 3rd building in the chase that had begun the day before on William Street. Waiting on line in the cold I opted to sit for two hours in the warm waiting room after I finally got in the building, observing the Indian child staring gleefully into my eyes at it hung on its mother’s shoulder in front of me and the African American woman with a butterfly tattoo on her neck and a green sweater with black cats etched on it ( a woman after my own heart as I have butterfly symbols everywhere in my apartment and three cats, two which are black). I left a few numbers short of my number being called in the unpredictable wait. I wanted to make  a noon yoga class with beloved Dharmamittra, his classes my NYC escape of the day, a training ground for me since 1999. The time passed quickly, challenged and enlivened and leaving behind the smell of the homeless person that made me nauseous on the subway that took me to his class (they have been so bad of late and so many).

As I approached my building now, hungrily anticipating the kale and blueberry salad with walnuts and sunflower seeds I would make for lunch, I noticed a man come to the door behind me as it closed, already a signal not to respond, yet I did. He looked like an average guy, so average I doubt I would recognize him if I saw him again. I thought for some reason he might be trying to see someone in the building- stupid as that is what buzzers are for in secure buildings. Excitedly he explained that his kids were in a car on the next block (why did he not bring them along? he said the restaurant was watching them). He needed $32 to get gas from the nearby station and return the container afterward. That number hit me as a red flag for some reason but continue to engage I did. He gave me his “keys”, took my number and said he would return in twenty minutes. If I had time to think it through- return with what? My $40? Twenty minutes passed. I had been had. Scammer; I felt stupid but at the same time protected. He could have grabbed my wallet, had a weapon, been deranged like the smelly subway dweller. He did not luckily have any crucial information- only my business card, address and $40.

In the end I felt lucky. My day still hadn’t been all that bad.

It could have gone quite differently when I opened that door.

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