Thanksgiving evening, and the city streets are virtually empty. Perfect night to walk the dogs. Just my boys and a few scurrying rats...and now an older black woman in a heavy coat who catches my eye.
"Everything's spinning," she announces.
I try to smile, but her words are surprisingly unsettling. The dogs pull up in front of her, enjoying the peculiar odors baked onto Manhattan concrete like a haughty sommelier lovingly sniffs a goblet of Chateau Petrus. The woman's eyes widen.
This time, nearly pleading. "Everything's spinning."
Is this satirical social commentary? An observation on our country, our society, spinning out of control? Stop the world, I want to get off?
The damn dogs are stuck in place, sucking in the remnant aroma of some old poop or discarded fried chicken or something.
Again, "Everything's spinning."
I'm close enough to see big clear eyes and know she's not drunk. While our world is literally turning in space like a blue-green Dreidel (happy Chanukah, people), her own world isn't spinning. Are her haunting words a kind of existential cosmic observation -- the basic existence, unique personal unfathomable inner realities, and greater universe we inhabit all concurrently twisting madly out of control?
A chill passes through my body. I tug the leashes and briskly walk away.
It is when I'm home, in the comfort of our cozy apartment that everything immediately becomes clear.
Of course! "Happy Thanksgiving." That's what she was saying.
Say it out loud: "Everything's Spinning…Happy Thanksgiving."
The old woman is gone now, if she was ever there at all. I feel horrible. She can only assume, no matter how hard she tried, this rude man with the small expensive dogs lacked the decency to return a simple holiday greeting.
Sharing this anecdote is an attempt at redemption of sorts, sent to balance the scales of karma.
Yes. Everything is Spinning.
And please have a very Happy Thanksgiving.