Sunday, April 19, 2009

Overgrown Tricycle

Today Central Park was bursting into early spring. New Yorkers took advantage of the Sunday for a much-needed return to nature. While walking past the Bethesda Fountain, a man passed me on an overgrown tricycle. The vehicle was a low-rider, and the front tire stretched far out front. Covered in sparkles and streamers, white and pink feather boas trailed behind it. The driver wore a multi-colored top hat, wide sunglasses rimmed with diamonds, and a sequined tuxedo jacket. He rode quickly in a dazzle of color. I turned for another look. A woman wheeling a stroller walked past and smiled at me broadly. The man's eccentricity had brought joy and connection to both of us.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Saturday Night Elevator Date

Saturday night I road the elevator down to the subway stop at W190th St. It was 11PM and I was dressed for a party. In the corner of the manually operated elevater, behind a knee-high plastic barrier demarcating her office sat a large woman with carefully curled blond hair: the operator. She acknowledged me when I walked in, but her attention lay elsewhere. Against the wall opposite the woman leaned a thin man half her size. The woman talked quickly, her voice animated by high-school-dance nervousness. The elevator reached subway level. I exited, but the man did not follow. The doors closed and the man road up again with the woman. I returned at 3AM from the party, unsuccessful in seeing the man I had wanted to see. At W190th St., I road up in the elevator with the same thin man and large woman. They were still talking after riding up and down in the elevator for four hours. They were still smiling. The woman looked less nervous. I couldn't help thinking: their elevator date was probably more successful than my fancy SoHo party.