The second story in my tales from New York...
I hope you enjoy it.
My friend tells a cracking good story about her escapade on the subway. She was house sitting, well dog-sitting actually, when one night she comes home to find the dog has up and died on her. Terrified, she calls the owners but they don’t seem too distressed by their pet’s passing and ask her just to take the dog to their vet and they will sort it out when they get back.
How am I going to transport a dead dog around the streets of New York the girl wonders the next morning, staring at the deceased canine lying in rigor mortis on the living room floor. Sensibly (she thinks) she chooses a suitcase and stuffs the stiffened dog inside, pushing his paws into the corners and curling his tail around the special compartment for socks and ties. It’s a pretty tight fit and she only just manages to close the lid, so she grabs the dog leash, (figuring the owners won’t need it anymore) and ties it around the case for extra support. There is no elevator to the top floor apartment of this brownstone in Greenwich Village, so she has no choice but to lug the suitcase full of demised dog down the stairs and out into the snowy streets of NY. Now, the vet is located in midtown and one would assume the ideal mode of transport for courier of a dead dog would be a taxi. But she’s an actor, therefore she’s poor and doesn’t have the money for a taxi, so she embraces the chariot for the common man, that mighty workhorse…the great New York subway. She drags the case along the snow-slicked street and kuh-thunk ku-thunk ku-thunk’s her hefty load down two flights of stairs to the subway platform. So far so good she thinks, waiting for the uptown train. It arrives and she joins the commuters, her suitcase blending inconspicuously with their double bass cases, shopping carts, un-assembled K-Mart furniture, plants, bikes and assorted paraphernalia other Americans would transport in their car. She alights at her stop, dragging the doggie bag out just in time to escape the closing doors, then looks up the three flights of stairs, daunted at the prospect of getting her corpse to the top. The last thing she needed was for the case to bust its seams and spill perished pooch all over the stairs.
“Excuse me ma’am do you need a hand?” asks a young man.
“Oh that would be awesome,” she says gratefully, “thank you so much. This bag is really heavy.”
“It looks it,” says the Good Samaritan, picking up one end of the case, “what’s in there?”
“Ah…computer supplies,” lies my friend, hoping he doesn’t get too close and catch the faint whiff of expired canine.
“Oh right, like parts of computers?” asks the guy as they reach the first landing.
“Yeah,” agrees the girl, going along with his assumption. “I’m moving and this seemed like the best way to transport my computer. Pull it all apart and pack it in a suitcase.” She cringes at her tale, but the guy seems to believe her and they make it to the second landing. “Nearly there,” she says, “thanks so much for helping me.”
“No problem,” says the guy, “I’m just glad I was around when you needed me.”
And then he punches her in the face, prompting her to drop the bag and grab her bleeding nose. Before she has a chance to recover, the guy grabs the case, sprints up the final flight of stairs and out into the streets of NY never to be seen again.
And not with a case of dismantled computer pieces like he supposes, but rather of a day-old deceased Fido on its way to the doggie morgue.