Sunday, March 13, 2011

Moves, Trains and Beggers

A few more days left, then, another change.

I'm not sure Sophie is up to it...she's settled in nicely here at Cassidy's place.  After a month here, she may not want to leave her new best friend, Daisy, even if Cassidy did re-name her 'Peaches'.  Sophie, not Daisy.  In retaliation, I've taken to calling Daisy 'Marmalade'....and, like Peac--I mean, Sophie...she ignores both names if it suits her.

I'm mostly packed...a few more things to sort into boxes and bins and to decide what to keep out for my last months here.  My new place is in an amazing part of town--I can't wait to explore it to the fullest.  The summer looms ahead, another choice to be made...and a new chapter, once again.

I want to see as many shows as I can afford while I'm still here.  I am going to the MCC Theater next week to catch one, a play with a great plot and good actors.  There are a few more that call me, including 'Wicked', which I've yearned to see for years and have never managed to catch--even with 'Defying Gravity' as my ringtone on my phone.

I need to make it to see SortaMom before I go, to catch lunch with Mark, to make sure Peggy has another weekend here in NYC...one where we can feel free to laugh and joke and not worry about another person's glowering to put a cap on our fun.

I'll have Nathan back in town for a few days next week, a small film role I've been cast in and the joy of Spring in New York.  Flip-flops, tshirts and, for me, a baseball cap to shield my bald head.  I look forward to those days.

I can do this.  I'm nothing if not resilient (my landlady pointed out she admired my resiliency, and thanked me for being so flexible and kind in the current situation, considering I was forced into a place I didn't want to be by an immovable will...we are parting on good terms), and, after I take a deep breath and absorb it all, I'll be fine.

I will miss the '2' train for one reason--the perpetual begger.  She's been on that line for years, I first saw/heard her three years ago, and she still had the same spiel when I saw her recently going downtown... the italics are my inner monologue;

"Hello everyone.  I hate to disturb you no, you don't, but the word but negates all that is said before it  I am a poor widow with two children who need food and clothing.  Won't you help?"

Two men opened their wallets, as a young black man raised his voice to announce she was a scam, he'd seen her before.  The men ignored his words, and, as the begger walked past him, she smirked and said, "God bless you!"

On the way back uptown, there she was again! Same words, same sad look...and again, men opened their wallets.  So, I stood up in the aisle of the half full car.

"Um, you were just doing this same stuff a few hours ago, AND, I've heard you doing this for years, you just changed your train line."

She stopped, stared....and tried to get her audience back, "....my children need medicine, food, and we have to rely on oth..."

"Hold on. You have small children?"

"Yes."

"So, who is watching them while you are out here?"

"Um, a friend."

"Do you pay her?"

"She is kind enough to do it for fre..."

"Why haven't you gone to a food bank?  There is a great one on (and I listed a few addresses), plus, they'll help you with child care, clothing and a place to live."

"Well, I can't leave my kids alon..."

"Bring them with you!  And, Macy's is hiring--with benefits!" (cheery smile)

"SO, LADIES AND GENTL..."

"If I may interject, don't give her a dime.  She's a pro."  Men put their wallets away, she was glaring by that time.

"Look, sweetie, if you want to beg instead of work...beg.  But, don't use kids to get more money.  That's just beyond wrong.  I'll bet you make far more than the bulk of us on this train by peddling your lies.  If you really want to work the trains, entertain me.  Sing, play a comb and tissue paper, do SOMEthing....I'll hand over a hard earned dollar then.  Otherwise, you need to STFU."

She left among a spattering of applause.  I'm not sure if I was listened to because I was a middle aged white woman instead of a young black man, but, I was listened to...and that is what counts.

Yep, I'll miss the begger on the 2 train...


....I don't think she'll miss me.

5 comments:

Rebekah said...

Re the woman on the train: AWESOME.

Re Sortamom - try to talk her into coming to NY with me next month - I need to go early in the month with contracts (not sure what day yet) and we can meet up again.

quin browne said...

YAY!!

JTS said...

Cheering for your speech on the train!

vinny said...

Ok, that was GREAT. Very few of us would've done that.

pegjet said...

Classic Quin.
NO ONE gives a verbal beating better than you.

I'm digging catching up in these parts. Gotta go keep reading your past posts.