I was walking through my neighborhood the other day with a friend. I’d stopped briefly at a new store a few days earlier when I didn’t have much time. It’s on a stretch of East 9th Street that’s crowded with cute boutiques: wedding dresses and antiques, vintage clothing and Wiccan spells. This new shop caught my eye because of its display: a wall of outstretched hands, delicate necklaces dangling from the ceramic fingers. Spread on the tables, boxes of clever rings: a toy car that spans three fingers; a tiny architectural model man, striding confidently; dog heads and dinosaur claws. Each one a stunning sculpture.
On my previous dash in, I’d spotted a knife, its blade glinting appealingly, the whole piece less than two inches long. It was sharp. I scanned the hands, found it and showed it to my friend. “Should I treat myself?” I asked, fastening the clasp behind my neck. “Sure,” she enthused. “It can be your ambulet.” She’d meant amulet but the fragment of her Freudian slip worked; combining amulet with ambulance resulted in ambulet. Perfect!
My “playa handle” is “StAbby.” It wasn’t bestowed upon me, as most playa names are, but was instead inspired by a song I sang at the DPW Talent Show in 2008: “Feelin’ Stabby,” sung to the tune of “Feelin’ Groovy.” I like the lowercase t and cap A, making it a double entendre, both stabby and Saint Abby. The tiny knife certainly looked “stabby.” And I can use all the help I can get.
a small object worn to ward off evil, harm, or illness or to bring good fortune; protecting charm.
1595–1605; (< Middle French amulete ) < Latin amulētum
315 East 9th Street
NY NY 10003
424 East 9th Street
NY NY 10009