Anyway, my point is, my life of crime has been negligible. There was the time when I was working three student jobs to get through college that I'd sometimes under report the earnings at the student lounge/pool hall by a couple dollars, so I could get a juice and some crackers from the vending machine for lunch. Horrors! The thing was, I felt terribly guilty and I like I was going to get caught every time. I knew that I was fortunate in that I appeared to be the last person anyone would suspect of stealing: a small, shy, lower-middle-class white girl with good manners and a semi-midwestern accent (my parents hailed from out there, even if I was raised in New Jersey). Of course, many teenage girls will tell you that's why they know they'll never get caught. But I genuinely hated doing it and thought I was a terrible person the whole time. Plus, above and beyond that, I was always waiting for The Man to catch me and stomp me down with the iron-heeled boot of justice. "I have terrible luck and am a terrible liar, and therefore, if anyone gets caught, it will be me," was my reasoning. It still echoes today.
Thus, standing by the line for the Rufus Wainwright show trying to sell my tickets was an alarming affair. It didn't matter that there was a geeky-looking kid of maybe 15 or 16 beside me who'd bought his tickets at the original rate of $40, and was trying to sell them for over $200, while I wasn't even hoping to break even on the $220 Mrs. Nator had spent on seats in the same section via eBay. The whole time I was sweating, and waiting to be accosted by the ginourmous bouncer at the front of the line.
Even getting to the place was surreal. It being one of those sudden summer weekends in New York where five million events were going on at once, the subways were full of a mix of rainbow-bedecked Brooklyn Pride goers, Puerto Rican flag draped Boriquas making their way home from the PR parade, and blonde tourist families in matching sneakers and golf shirts whispering to each other "Daddy, is that man speaking Hispanic? And why is that fat lesbian sweating like she's been caught in Singapore customs with a condom full of crank up her ass?"
Outside of the subway was more weirdness. Hordes of people surrounded food tents in Madison Square Park, supervised by far too many irritated-looking police than I wanted to see at that juncture. Then, just as I was drawing up to the venue, a mob of bedraggled bicyclists came barreling down 23rd Street, taking up the lanes with everything from tiny foldable bikes to weird, double-cranksetted contraptions about eight or nine feet high. This did nothing, I assure you, to make me feel more comfortable.
I suppose I could have imagined that, what with all this going on, little old me trying to sell a couple of tickets would hardly be on major law enforcement's radar. I also must confess that, in actuality, I'm not even sure this whole deal was illegal at all. Still, the first pair of gays that talked me down to $110 for the pair got the tickets, because I just wanted to get the hell out of there. (I just know the kid beside me was grateful to see me go. There was no way he was going to make a profit with the weenie with the air of desperation throwing better tickets than he had at people at a loss.) Besides, I had to get back to Brooklyn to get a quart of Italian ice and Mrs. Nator's anti-inflammatory prescription before the stores closed.
As I made my way home, circumnavigating stocky women plastered with Puerto Rico stickers and Gay Pride buttons and sniffing the rare sea-tang in the air from a front blowing in, I took stock. I got $110 for the tickets, half of what we paid for them, and $60 of which were blown on frozen desserts and medications within 20 minutes. Not so great a deal. If I had hung in there, no doubt I could have made a lot more. Ah, but the relief from fearing that I was going to get hauled in and ass-raped in the hoosegow? Priceless.