It was on the uptown bus, somewhere between Macy’s and 42nd Street, when I turned into my father. I know this because I took my seat dressed in jeans and a stylish Armani t-shirt, and when I got off I was wearing seersucker pants and a bowtie.
The experience probably would have thrown most people for a psychodynamic loop, but I had just come from a marathon showing of The Matrix trilogy at the Palace and presumed several synapses on the left side of my brain hadn’t sufficiently reset. Ironically, it all became clear when, stepping off the curb at Vanderbilt Avenue, I suddenly developed presbyopia and was forced to stop at Duane-Reade pharmacy for reading glasses.
There was no denying it. I was undergoing parental transmogrification.
Fighting an urge to light up a Camel®, I took a right onto Third Avenue and walked south in the direction of Locks & Lox, a barber shop and smoked fish emporium founded by my family back in the ‘50s. All well and good, of course, unless you take into consideration that I’m a phlebotomist – a bloody good one, at that – and work at a walk-in clinic across from the United Nations. I turned on a heel (he was making fun of an elderly woman whose stockings had fallen around her ankles) and headed north, pondering the gravity of my circumstance.
“How had this happened?” I wondered, raising my hand to scratch my head, only to be thwarted by the presence of a brown fedora that, from the standpoint of fashionability, didn’t go with anything I was wearing.