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.
4 days ago