14th Street between 1st and 2nd

Two young choady dudes–ringer Ts, long shorts, flip flops–ambling easy through the cool July morning.

Choady Guy 1: You know how like girls will get their periods and then if they’re like living together all of them will start to get their periods at the same time?

Choady Guy 2: I heard of that, yeah.

Choady Guy 1: It’s like, one girl’s flow will be the strongest and she’ll like overpower the weaker ones.

Choady Guy 2: Yeah, yeah. (pause) But how do they know when to start? How do they know when the one girl’s having it, like by scent?

Choady Guy 1: (serious) No it’s weird, it’s like, more subconscious than that. You’ll see girls where one of them will have their period and the rest of them will just like, start having their period even though they don’t know why.

Choady Guy 2: Weird.

Choady Guy 1: I know, it’s a weird kind of awareness that they have.

Published in: on July 11, 2008 at 2:52 am  Comments (1)  

Q train between Atlantic and DeKalb Avenues

Guy gets on the Q through the last door of the car at Atlantic–blue Hawaiian shirt, stiff dark blue jeans, white velcro sneakers, caramel-colored mustache–and starts moving slowly up the car delivering his spiel in a flat, practiced monotone.

Train Guy: Good morning ladies and gentlemen my name is Charlie I am currently unemployed and looking for work. If anyone has any information about a job I’d be more than happy to take it down, I am required to report to public assistance Monday to fill out some unemployment paperwork and I would appreciate any information anyone might have about a job before that time. In the meantime anything you can spare, a nickel quarter dime, would be greatly appreciated. Have a safe trip and a wonderful day.

At the end of the car he turns on his heel, no pause, and starts to work his way back down the car–same exact deadpan monotone.

Train Guy: Good morning ladies and gentlemen my name is Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer I am currently looking for a shiny red nose. If anyone has a shiny red nose or information about where I can obtain one I would be more than happy to apply it to my face, I am scheduled to take off on Christmas Eve so I would appreciate any help anyone can offer me before that time. Have a safe trip and bundle up, it’s cold out there.

Published in: on July 7, 2008 at 3:36 am  Leave a Comment  

4th Street and Avenue A

3:30 p.m., walking the puffy poodle through the apartment complex past a benchful of old ladies. Head lady–froth of white hair, jazzy black-and-silver sparkly T-shirt–calls us over.

Lady 1: Look at him, he’s wonderful. He’s a wonderful dog. We had a dog, a Lhasa. We got him when he was a baby and had him until he died, fifteen years. Then we had two cats. Now just people. Me and my daughter, my husband’s gone. My daughter’s boyfriend comes over and he’s welcome anytime because he cooks. Dogs don’t cook. They don’t provide that kind of service. They only provide love. But love makes the world go round.

Me: That’s right, it does.

Puffy poodle luxuriates in strokes, running the gauntlet of the ladies’ open palms.

Lady 1: He doesn’t mind being an apartment dog, does he, as long as he gets to come outside and march the love parade. But what about you? Who’s loving you?

Me: Yeah, when I walk by a bench of people nobody calls me over to stroke me, what’s up with that?

Lady 1: Hey, Alice, come on over! Hey, Alice, we’ll stroke you!


Published in: on July 1, 2008 at 7:31 pm  Leave a Comment