Monday, August 4, 2008

My Conscience on 8th Avenue

Getting off the train at the 7th Avenue stop last Friday I hadn't walked half a block before I saw a ten spot lying on the ground a few feet in front of me. There didn't seem to be any obstacle to snatching it up and slipping it in my pocket, no one in my way, so I swooped down for it, vaguely aware of someone to my right a few feet behind me who must have witnessed my dive to the sidewalk. I was also vaguely aware of a man about a half a block ahead of me who was carrying a suit bag, and who I'd seen taking things in and out of his pockets as he rushed along madly, too fast for a Friday afternoon, but you know how it is with summer weekends, places to go, people to see.

I snuck a peek at the woman on my right, medium brown hair, neat as Nancy Drew, a slight curve to her lips which told me she was taking it all in. So I started talking to her, saying I'm not sure who might have dropped this, blah blah blah. She said, well that man up there was just taking things out of his pocket so it might be his. I protested, you know, he's walking really, really fast. I am not going to run up and catch him. And I'm not going to yell, he'll never hear me. I suggested if she felt like running she could take it up to him.

So she did. I handed her the sweaty bill and off she went, running in her skirt. How often do you see a woman so well put together just start running down the street. There was something very beautiful about it. She caught up to Mr. Speed and they started talking. I saw him taking stuff out of his pockets to discover that yes, his money wasn't where it should have been. And that was it. Their talk was over too quickly. I was hoping for something more romantic. It seems like when an elegant woman runs up to you and hands you your lost money you should at least spend it on a drink for her, and maybe some schnitzel. But of course, places to go, people to see. Maybe he was on his way to get his tuxedo pressed for his own wedding, he did have the distracted air of a nervous groom.

My conscience went left on 11th, I took a right on 12th, and the guy took his suit bag into the dry cleaners. Halfway down the block someone had set a book about Fellini out on top of their trashcan. They should have just put it in the trashcan because it was completely waterlogged, it's warped pages foul with mildew. But they couldn't quite bring themselves to dump it in with the rest of the garbage. I'm glad they didn't, there was something compelling about the way colonies of whitish mold growing on the book cover's film still complemented the frilly parasols and frocks of the characters as they rushed up the hill towards the biplane. No free money for me this time, but at least I got to witness the miracle of mold blooming like Queen Anne's lace on an Italian hillside. I took a picture.

3 comments:

M.Thew said...

Is there anything more romantic than schnitzel? Very little, but only if it is followed up with sacertorte mit schlag.

amarilla said...

mercy!

queenoftheclick said...

What a sweet story. It's just like a Brooklynite to run and bring someone money.......I wouldn't have run up to the guy either.