"We’re getting divorced because we love each other, and we both realize that we don’t have enough of what the other needs. When we decided to get divorced, I wrote a note with all the things I loved about her, and gave it to her. She got very emotional and started crying. Then three days later, she wrote me a similar note. But here’s the thing—- she wrote it on the back of a recycled piece of paper. She wrote it on the back of an advertisement or something. So I called her out on it. And she said: ‘I knew you were going to bring that up. If you cared, you wouldn’t mind what it was written on.’ And I said: ‘Well, if you cared, you’d have gotten a fresh piece of paper.’"
"My son worked on the 91st floor of the North Tower. The whole family came over to my apartment and gathered around the TV. When we saw the building come down, we all looked at each other, and said: ‘That’s it.’"
"My friend came up to me and said: ‘Alfredo! There’s some guy over there jerking off in front of women and kids.’ So I ran up to this guy, and I said: ‘What the hell do you think you’re doing? Put your shit back in your pants and get the fuck out of the park!’ And he stood up, and he got in my face, and he started to say: ‘Fuck you!’ But after he said ‘fuck,’ and before he said ‘you,’ I clocked him right in the face and knocked him out. When the cops came, I told them the story, and they said: ‘You better get out of here before the boss gets here.’ So I left the park, but this guy’s tooth was lodged in my hand. And he had some sort of infection. Cause two days later, my legs swell up like balloons, and I’ve barely been able to walk since."
"What’s your greatest struggle right now?" "The death of my husband." "How’d you meet?" "I was at a party on Fire Island, and this man walked in. I was about 25 at the time and recently divorced. I thought: ‘He looks interesting, I should get to know him.’ We ended up talking all night long. The next morning we were engaged, and two weeks later we were married." "So what did he say when he asked you to marry him?" "He didn’t really ask. He just said: ‘Let’s get married.’"
"I’m a traffic cop. It’s a job. Somebody’s got to do it. I don’t even represent myself when I’m working. If I was representing myself, I’d let everyone off with a warning. I represent a system. Did I design the system? No. I just enforce it. It’s not for me to decide the system. We elect the people who decide the system. When I write a ticket, everyone tells me a reason that they don’t deserve it. If I gave a warning to everyone with a reason, I wouldn’t give any tickets, and the system wouldn’t work. I don’t get any joy by giving a ticket. And I’m not upset if you beat it in court. It’s not personal. It’s my job."
"I went to work with a fever one day, and I was trying to pull out a screw when the crowbar dislodged and hit me across the face. Two days later, I started to see a pink spray behind my right eye. They tried many surgeries, but over two months, my vision slowly faded to nothing until I was completely blind in the eye. My balance was ruined. I felt dizzy. I could barely walk. I spent $16,000 on surgeries, and then the hospital sued me for $40,000, even though they failed to save my eye. I was so sad and angry at myself, that I did nothing for a year and a half. I lost my house, my car, everything. Then one day, my friend said to me that he had an important job for me to do. And it was a very small job, but he gave me $1,000. He knew I wouldn’t take charity, so this was his way of giving me charity— overpaying me for a job. That was the way he was— Atilla Tetik is his name, from Long Island. And even though the $1,000 was a big help, seeing that I could finish a job made me feel powerful. And I immediately started working again."
"Right after I lost vision in my eye, I was so bad at walking that I ran into a girl eating ice cream, and knocked her cone out of her hand. She screamed: ‘Are you blind!?!?’ I turned to her and said: ‘I am blind actually, I’m so sorry, I’ll buy you a new cone.’ And she said: ‘Oh my God! I’m so sorry! Don’t worry! It’s no problem at all! I’ll buy another one.’ So we walked into the ice cream store together, and the clerk said: ‘I heard the whole thing. Ice cream is free.’"
"My brother was killed when I was 13. There had been a fight at a nightclub, and my brother was not involved, but he was shot in the head as he tried to run away. He was very popular in my town, so there were many reporters and friends outside the hospital when I got there. When I walked in my mother was sitting in a chair, crying. She wouldn’t even look at me. She wouldn’t speak to me. Not only did I lose my brother that day, but I lost my mother too. Life from then on was about her suffering. She stayed home all day, she cried, she didn’t pay much attention to us. Nothing was allowed to be more important than her suffering. Nobody else was allowed to have important problems. Her pain had to be worse than everyone else’s. She preferred it that way."