Saturday, February 28, 2009

Saturday in the park, EVERY day's the Fourth of July!

Hey everybody!

Been a spotty poster lately. I'm sorry, darlings. I just feared I might've run out of things to say. Then I walked through Madison Square Park on my way to work this morning, and ping! I thought of something to tell you.

First, let me just say that the squirrels in Madison Square Park are more like little puppies than they are squirrels. You walk by a cluster of them tittering at each other on the park bench, and you make a little clucking sound at them with your tongue, and they run at you in bands of 4 or 5, eager to climb up your legs in the hopes of getting a nut or treat. It's very bizarre. You get the sense you could cradle one in your arms like a kitten if you wanted to. But as my babysitter Isabel learned when she was little, after a lot of lost blood and a rabies shot, squirrels don't really want to be grabbed and hugged.

Anyway, let me tell you about some of the things I saw in the park today, besides the squirrels, that got my rusty brain gears turning:

1. Group of zen-ish asian peoples practicing the Tai Chi in heavy coats and woolen scarves and mittens. You've got to hand it to these folks. I mean, shit. It was cold this morning. And yet, here they are, committed to their quiet, fluid, meditative movements, or whatever the hell it is they do. It was mesmerizing to watch, anyway. Which brings me to

2. Weird Robert Chambers-looking guy in preppy Irish sweater, smoking cig and watching Tai Chi people, as if he were contemplating picking one to kidnap and violate under a tree nearby. Or eat for a snack. He had an intensity in his eyes that would definitely red flag him in a bar as the guy who always carries date rape capsules his pocket.

3. Homeless man wearing coat and pants that were stuffed with newspapers (clever!) to keep him warm. He was slumped like a sleeping fat pidgeon, head tucked into his chest. On his feet were mismatched soft hospital casts...like the ones they give you when you sprain your ankle.

4. Skeletal woman jogging in a lipstick-red parka, attached via skinny rhinestone leash to an equally starved-looking poodle, wearing four doggie sneaker/slipper type things the exact same lipstick color as the woman's coat.

Now. This is what struck me. Not that it made me wanna cry or go out and start a revolution or anything, because, please, I've got enough on my plate...but, it made me stop and think for a second, is all.

There seems to be such an ever-growing gap between the haves and the have-nots in this world. I mean, here we have a man who keeps all his earthly belongings folded into filthy shopping bags and stuffed in a cart, who cannot afford shoes on his feet on a cold February morning, who's probably not had a decent meal in weeks. And jogging by in the same park at the very same moment, there's a woman who probably doesn't do much eating either, but for veeeery different reasons, and she's got enough extra money to buy on goddamned shoes for her dog.

What's that about? You don't have to answer. Or answer, if you like.

It just struck me as sort of sad.

14 comments:

Vegas Linda Lou said...

Krissy, I hope you NEVER run out of things to say. Post as much as you possibly can--I love reading your stuff. (Hmmm... it's all about me, I guess.)

Wow, that was awkward said...

And after you left, the homeless guy and the runner beat up the Robert Chambers dude only to be foiled by the wooly asian zen masters. All while the dog took bets from the squirrels and used the proceeds for a game of poker later that evening. It was all forever immortalized in the form of one of those awesome dog poker party paintings.

xl said...

You are a keen observer of life's vignettes. :)

ty bluesmith said...

wow's comment is just too good to try and top.

I'm Scooter, but I might be a troll. said...

Well, dichotomies are always worth typing a few sentences out when one has insomnia and must leave for a 16 hour work day in less than four hours.

Kristin, we have the means to completely eradicate homelessness in this country. If we were to decriminalize drug possession and legalize distribution (while at the same time taxing the ever loving shit out of it), we would free up an incredible amount of manpower and capital currently being wasted on a war against a commercial product.

Then, once we have all of these empty prisons, since selling dime bags on street corners won't be illegal (or profitable), we can arrest the people that sleep on park benches.

Yes, I know how harsh that sounds. You want to know what is even more harsh? Letting them continue to sleep on park benches. In February.

Once we have these people in custody, we can determine if they have the executive capacity (I love that phrase) to make it on their own. If they can't... we help them out. We can afford to do so. We are making ass-loads of money from the drug taxes.

The folks that actually do have the executive capacity to make it on their own, well, they are trying to live off of society. We send those people to prison. Of course, since we have so many of these empty prisons (you read the newspapers, Kristin... New York's prisons are emptying already), we can send non-violent lazy bastards to live with other non-violent lazy bastards, and teach them a skill, or at least force them to make something for five years.

The end result is that people with serious mental disabilities get help, we close our budget gap, and sloth is criminalized.

We can't get rid of our demons, but at least we can make them profitable.

Warped Mind of Ron said...

Haven't you heard it's the trickle down effect. Eventually there will be a dog with really large feet and when the shoes get out of style they will be donated to the homeless. See, it all works out in the end.

the letters i wish i'd written said...

People who put clothes on animals are mentally ill, the guy with the newspapers is better off, he at least, has sense!

The Third String said...

Krock... it's going to worse. And people aren't caring anymore. It's the "modern" way, I guess... :(

jeremy said...

i thought giuliani shipped all the homeless over to jersey...

rkintn said...

I have no answers, but those are some astute observations and I love reading about them here:)

nitewalk6 said...

Obama will fix this too!

Prunella Jones said...

Let's kill all the Republicans. With machine guns! Starting with that fat douchebag Rush Limbaugh.

It may not work, but it'll make me feel better at least.

Sproactually said...

Next time let the homeless guy know those squirrels are pretty good eating.

I can't help you with asian stalking preppy guy, or the poodle lady.

So that's 2 out of 5...

Wait, i bet the sight of homeless guys cooking a critter over a open fire might make poodle lady go eleswhere...

Cary said...

That might have been Chambers himself. Didn't he get out of the slammer recently?