Monday, September 13, 2010

Email from Christina

Hello Solomon,

You very graciously made this outlandish (to some, but not to others) offer on the northbound M train around 9am today, welcoming the strange faces before you to e-mail you with our suggestions for this "pay it forward"-type goal of yours.

After an unforeseen ending to my extended weekend yesterday, I thought of your proposal as a nice, reinvigorating breath of fresh air. (Whew!)

While I do not know if you are an escaped convict masquerading as a typical office laborer or if you have submitted to a recent battery of mental health checks and passed all with exceptional ratings, in theory I do want to jump on this bandwagon. The idea is surprising, different and fresh.

I'm uncertain whether what YOU offer is limited solely to the six options you list and whether what WE can give back to you is limited to the five options you list.

Therefore, I propose the following and it is completely up to you to accept or decline:

  • You clean the soiled cages of my four male guinea pigs. It is usually done twice a week, but perhaps its owners can use a break from cleaning, scrubbing, wiping and washing.
In turn, I am willing to do anything for you, within reason and the confines of legality.

My boyfriend took a flyer from you, too. I am not sure if he intends to contact you with his idea(s). Either way, I did, and I commend you for being brave, innovative, and inspired enough to help complete strangers. For the record, my coworker thinks you're nuts (and I do, too, to a lesser extent, but at the same time I'm smitten by the concept) and says you're looking to get killed.

Perhaps you're new to New York, and a tad naive and utterly convinced of your immortality.

If my suggestion goes unheeded, that is fine.

If you want to throw suggestions my way, I'm all ears.

I simply thank you for trying to make the world, or at least your immediate surroundings, a better place to live.


And here's my response:

Hi C,

You are ON!! I will clean your cages. I actually have guinea-pig-cage-cleaning experience. I just hope you don't live too far--I work in midtown and live uptown. Tell me when and where and I will be there. Hopefully this will suck you into my cause so it's a win for me too.

I was born and raised in Brooklyn and have killed 5 men in my lifetime in hand to hand combat so I can take care of myself. For the sake of honesty only the first half of the previous sentence is true.

Thank you for your email--it really gives me the motivation to keep going. And perhaps I am a little crazy, but aren't we all? "Nobody realizes how some people expend tremendous energy merely to be normal." -Camus. Well, I was normal for far too long and it was exhausting and empty. No more.


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