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Saturday, February 16, 2008

Beware of the Kooks

Red Star, Greenpoint
Photo by myself in Greenpoint, Brooklyn.

There are a surprising number of bars in this little neighborhood.


The shocking, brutal murder of a NY psychologist on the Upper East Side has been all over the local news. Last week, a 56-year old doctor was attacked in her office with a meat cleaver. The killer left bags full of knives, womens' clothing and adult diapers at the scene.

People joke that NYers are nuts. Woody Allen didn't help our image, playing very anxious and very New York characters in his movies.

I don't disagree. Many New Yorkers are open about their mental health, and it's quite accepted to be seeking help. One of my bosses openly announces when he's off to his shrink. Sadly, not everyone who needs has enough funds or awareness to seek it. I've met people here who could frankly use some form of therapy.

Two such people lived in my last building on the Upper West Side, a small, five-floor walk-up. One woman seemed to have a persecution complex. She'd open her door just a crack if you knocked, and shout for you to back away from the door.

The other woman must have had a social disorder that made her walk around with a visor pulled over her eyes and carry a piece of paper directly in front of her face. Both women looked like they'd never had their hair cut.

Unfortunately, I got on the bad side of Crazy Woman II. She slid angry, hand-written notes under my door, accusing me of bounding, heavy-footed, down the stairs. Somehow she thought that I walked like elephants hurling bowling balls. She advised me to downsize the high heels I must have worn because of my petite stature, forgetting the 6-foot-6 giant that lived one floor above me.

At one point, Crazy Woman I and Crazy Woman II were angry with one another. I thought I'd witness a Godzilla-Rodan battle, but before the first crazy stone could be lobbed, Crazy Woman II moved out.

Anyway, the recent murder is terribly disturbing. After watching a news segment on the woman's funeral, Mark said, 'There are a lot of crazy people in this city.'


Ming the Merciless said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ming the Merciless said...

I think I've met your neighbor who walks around with a visor and a magazine in front of her face on the train the other day. She was looking left and right but the magazine was constantly in front of her face, even when she got up to walk out of the train.

Heck, a former coworker of mine was a total kook; not the crazy kook but the typical, middle-aged, NYC woman who lives alone with two cats, never combs or colors her hair but spends lots of money maintaining that same 1970s bob while dressed in boho-chic.

Fredrik said...

Very funny! We have a lot of weirdos over here too. One guy for example who is obsessed with his binoculars. He just stops in the middle of the street, picking up his binoculars from a bag and takes a fast look at something. I can never figure out what. Then he just continue walking as nothing has happened. Quite amusing. The world would be so boring without the weirdos. But the dangerous kind, the one you mentioned kitty, is scary.

penpusher said...

That is some horrible news about the NY psychologist!

I have often wondered why everybody paints New Yorkers as a little crazy. Is it because there are just so many people cramped into that little Manhattan island?

My partner has always told me that NYC is a good place to visit, but not so good to live in. Everyone's too cranky.

But then again, that's just his take on things.


oldmanlincoln said...

New York. Where do they put the daily garbage they collect?

Kitty said...

Ming - you've found Crazy Woman II's doppleganger. My neighbor was bought out by the new landlord and moved out of NYC. So we're sans one kook.

It's startling how many kooks there are. Some are functional and get help. Others are so kooky they don't know they need it. Your coworker sounds functional.

Fredrik - I agree how the world would be boring! as long as these kooks remain peaceful. I fear they will unite one day and storm the rest of us.

Penpusher - I think there's truth to the myth. NYC is anonymous enough that marginal people can live here. I agree with your partner. NY is not for everyone. It can turn very nice people into monsters. Life can be easy but life can be very hard.

Lincoln - Welcome! They collect garbage once or twice a week. It gets trucked out to some huge landfill.

Nikon said...

LOL, I'd fit right in :-)