Thursday’s Things New Yorkers Say: An Indian Curse

We were back at Rudy’s.

The crowd here is always interesting, and rarely do you leave Rudy’s unscathed by an ancient local or a hot French guy or Louie Prima Jr., or… or a Native American?

I think he was passing through the city.

Clare, Ivy, and I were lucky enough to have found seats at the bar, and sat comfortably with hotdogs in hand. While we discussed events both pleasant and unfortunate, there was a happiness hanging about us. Part of the Pub Club was back in action, and our better halves would join us next week.

"Free hot dogs always!"

Poke. Poke. A tall, dark-skinned man with traditional Indian garb (feathered hat included) tapped Ivy. He motioned for her to take a note card that had a scribbled picture on the unlined side.

“Oh cool…” I heard Ivy say. He spoke not a word, but motioned for her to take the card. She grabbed the paper and then handed it back. These signals repeated themselves for several minutes before Ivy yanked on my pant leg.

Ah. The official girl sign for “I need help. Rescue me now.” Touching a friend’s arm, shirt, or pants, while still pretending to talk to the “sir” in question is a definite plea for assistance.

“Mom’s calling!” I threw my phone is Ivy’s face like an annoying sister… or at least an obnoxious drunk. “Talk to her now!” I said loudly. Ivy turned away from the inclosing man, and motioned a “this guy is freaky” gesture. Clare and I nodded and then took turns talking to our pretend mother.

Poke. Poke.

“Ah!!” Ivy screamed and I almost peed my pants out of sheer hilarity. This gentleman wasn’t given up! But Ivy was, and didn’t even turn around before pointing to a rare open table. We took the opportunity to vacate.

Fifteen minutes or so later, the tall man walked over.

“May I say something?” he asked.
“Depends on what you’re going to say,” Ivy responds.
“May I say something?” he repeats.
“Okay. Sure.”
“What does that mean? May I say something?”
I could tell this guy and I weren’t going to be chums.
“Yes!” Ivy finally shouted.

Honestly I don’t even know what we said after that conversation. But here are the
highlights of his 20-minute stay with us:'

“You are a wolf,” he said pointing to Clare. “You are a pussy cat,” he said to me. “You are a tiger,” he said to Ivy.
“Oh come on. I hate cats. Can I be something else?” I respond.
“You don’t believe me?!” he says.
“It’s not really that I don’t believe you,” I say to the
offended Indian with a little laugh.
“It’ s just I really hate cats.”

He was slightly thrown off by this response, and said quickly “You doggy and you cat!” to Clare and myself.

I think my big mouth is also why he gave me the Indian curse.

“I came here to warn you of something,” he says to me without a smile. “Oh great,” I respond dryly. "I have to warn you of something, he repeats. “Okay… what is it,” I say.

“You. Be careful,” he says pointing at me.“Your boyfriend? He will
hurt your heart very badly.”
“He will hurt you!!”
“Okay!” I say slightly unnerved by my nonexistent
beau and the Indian’s persistence.

This is where Clare wisely throws in, “I think your boyfriend’s great.”
“Me too!” Ivy says.
“Thanks guys,” I say, throwing the tall man an irritated look.
“And what are you?”
“What am I?”
“Yeah, what’s your animal?” I ask.
“Ah… I am an eagle. An eagle is the best. You want to know why?”
“Why?” we all ask.
“An eagle is the best because of how we make love!!”


And then intense laughter, with an embarrassed look on the side. I should have seen that coming. I should have known he would say something ridiculous, but my curiosity had gotten the best of me. And you know what they say about curiosity? Curiosity killed the cat.

And I am a “pussy cat.”

PS: Should I be worried about my next boyfriend? Indian curses probably shouldn’t be trifled with :/

The cards given to us...