Tribeca Film Festival has arrived, as we citizens of New York are well aware.
I'm a bit surprised the foot traffic isn't more intense... and pleased as well... my daily walk hasn't been stopped yet by congestion in SoHo, at least not by much, making me a happy camper.
Today, with a soft air around us, the dogs and I did the usual round into Tribeca park, down West Broadway, sausage for them and coffee for me, and across Spring, up the block, back down Thompson and over to the little triangle park to let them wander and me have my coffee, or what is usually left of it by the time I've struggled to keep them from watering every bit of flora or fauna they can find.
It was a good day.. a full cup was left for me to savour as the cars honked and hooted to move the internal combustion engines in front of them. Always amusing to listen to... yes, those other cars are just sitting there, blissfully unaware they can move forward a good six inches. Those six inches... real six inches, not some man's measurement....will make a huge difference in your commute homeward. They honk and hoot and voices rise over the rap music blaring out of 47 black Denali's.
I sat on my bench, enjoying my full cup of still hot coffee, letting the dogs wander...stalking sparrows in the hope one day they will actually catch one, not realising the birds hear not only the clink of the dragging leash but their anxious panting.
A bum... I'm sorry, let me be PC here... a homeless person wandered into our area and sat on a bench. Not just any bench, but, the one I was occupying. Of course, he had no choice....the others were all empty.
He sat and eyed my half full cup of coffee, licking his lips. It took me a few sips, with him watching me with the same concentration shown by the westie when she stalks a bird before it struck me he may want that cup of coffee.
"Um, would you like the rest of this?"
"Oh, well, if you don't want it, sure." He was nothing if not polite.
I handed it over, careful to not touch skin. I wasn't sure the last time his had touched anything that resembled soap. Or water. Or anything else I cared to think about.
Yes, I am a snob.
He sipped the coffee and discussed the weather. I may be a snob, but, I too, am polite and found myself making small talk. Of course, when he started talking about Nixon's policy in Vietnam, and why Agnew should be president, I realised he didn't have a full deck...not even 23 cards were contained in his Bike box.
He finished his coffee, and got up to throw away the cup, dragging his cardbooard box with him. Walking back my way, he said, "Please excuse me, I have to go to the restroom."
"Oh, yes, well, fine."
With that, he walked away from me. I thought this would be my chance to escape while he searched out a place to let him in and wee.
No such luck.
He stepped away ten feet or so, unzipped, and....yes... started to pee in front of me.
I jumped up and actually started to yell, "AAAHHHH! AHHHH!! AAAHHH!!! WHAT ARE YOU DOING???? AAAAHHHH!!!"
Needless to say, he turned his head and told me, "I said I had to go to the bathroom."
Still in my voice three octaves higher than usual, I answered, "NOT HERE!!! ARE YOU CRAZY???". Sometimes, I ask the obvious.
He turned around and dropped trou...bearing his bum..and at that point, still making inarticulate sounds, I grabbed the leashes of the dogs who finally realised I was upset and were barking, and made a dash for the park entrance. The last I saw out of the corner of my eye was him reaching for leaves... I blocked out the rest, and need to blind my minds eye with a needle to sleep tonight.
I dashed through traffic, hitting one car on the hood when it tried to run me down, moving at a fast walk up West Broadway, not slowing until I was near the Grand... still muttering "Aaaahhh!!!"
I'm not sure. I just know I'll never sit in the park again when anyone who has a cardboard box enters it again...
And I wonder if he curbed himself... somehow, I doubt it.