Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Harvest of Nuts

Driving around Bartel Pritchard Circle yesterday the Horse Chestnuts caught my eye. The trees themselves look a little beat right now, spring is their time. They are early bloomers, with lush fans of 5-7 leaves that increase and then decrease as in an anthemia, and spires of white flowers. I can see why these trees indigenous to Asia were first brought to Europe and then here. They've made stately and ornamental urban dwellers.

It's hard to believe those delicate flowers can produce the spiky fruits slightly larger than golf balls. The nut within is a low lustre rich brown, compared to the eyes of a buck in something I read. Too bad they are poisonous, containing an agent that causes red blood cells to dissolve. Not good. I read that if you know what you are doing you can use them to create medicines for arthritis and, he he, hemorrhoids.

This morning in Manhattan my eye came across an image similar to these nuts, courtesy of an urban prankster making a lewd request of by passers in a vaguely Andy Kaufmanesque accent, while his snickering cohort video taped his stunt. I got the feeling people felt violated by the spectacle he had orchestrated. One man got really upset, red and sweaty, and argued with the prankster guy, complaining of his indecent speech. He was yelling "you know, kids come by here," but I got the feeling it wasn't just the innocence of children this man wanted to protect.

I wonder if there was anyone at all this guy would have preferred not walk across the South West corner of Union Square this morning. Anyone at all.

Amazing how quickly he would have been tossed in jail if he found himself in a different nation. I hope he feels free. He acted free. I hope I am free of ever having to run into one of his disgusting pranks again. Am I sexually repressed because he made me uncomfortable? Was he trying to make that point or just stirring up discomfort to feel his power? Well, whatever he was doing, it's clear he was playing the part of a pervert, the violator.

Maybe someone will go sage that corner of Union Square, it needs its innocence back.

It all seems suitably weird for the harvest moon.

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