• Brian Keller

Are you prepared for tragedy?

I was about to hop on my bike and make the 11-mile work commute from upper Manhattan to Chelsea or the Flatiron or what real New Yorkers would call 6th Ave and 27th; I'm not calling it No

Mad; sometimes, we should muzzle real estate people.

I take the bike path that runs along the Hudson River and then shoot across town on 28th from the West Side Highway; I was looking forward to mocking the miserable, car, commuters on the Henry Hudson and then berating scooter people on 28th St.

It happened so fast. I was a complete mess. I've been to law school, spoken in front of hundreds of people, and am comfortable relating information. But I was paralyzed; I couldn't describe it.

When help arrived, I said I couldn't believe it had happened to me. The dude was cool. He said we couldn't go back in time and prevent it. "But this may not help; you're typical. This happens every day. First, a couple of questions, you said it happened fast, but, did it; or did you stand there and watch the event kind of happen in slow motion, and again you just stood there sort of thinking it wasn't happening? Anyway, you realized it happened, and you got pissed, and that lasted a minute or so, but too late to do anything, even if you were prepared. Most people aren't prepared even though it's nearly inevitable no matter where you live. Let me ask you, did you try to make a deal in your head to stop the pain? Right, sure you did, and then you got so depressed when it didn't stop, you went all fetal, and finally, you realized you were violated, you called us. It's sort of too late to undo this event, but you can prepare yourself and mitigate if there is a next time, and the next time could come anytime; tragedy doesn't usually occur just once in life. I'll give you a form we have; it will have twelve steps and our number. Read it; follow those twelve steps. If you feel weak and try to avoid any steps, call the number, and talk to me; 24- hours a day, every day.

I'm going to ask you to leave, get a cup of coffee, call a friend, and just get some immediate help. I'll have to call for a little backup. First, let's go through the event. When your toilet began to overflow, you stood there watching it, right? But it didn't end. That water just crept up and up, and you realized that even if you weren't a moron and had a plunger, you would have started plunging when the bowl was close to overflowing. You would have just sped up the disaster; so, your bike ride was ruined, and your Target bathmat was about to look like a gulf oil spill, and you flipped out. Then you began to bargain with an unknown being and gave up almost immediately when no bolt from the sky came to your aid and your bathmat was submerged. You followed that up by nearly going fetal from depression and finally accepted your fouled floors from Tile Bar, the Q-tips floating by; don't put Q-tips in the John, and the inevitable leaks, and the Target bathmat and ambled, barefooted out of the head and across your soaked, recently refinished wood floors - toes up, to grab your cell phone and call us." Denial. Anger. Bargaining. Depression. Acceptance; happens all the time. It's part of life's rich pageant."

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