Posts Tagged ‘new york city’

the battle of who could care less.

11 November 2008

a few years ago i heard about a research project conducted on public bathrooms that found that sensitive men use the middle stalls. since then i’ve always made a conscious effort to be a sensitive man, just in case the study’s acolytes are at the row of sinks, gauging potential suitors. even though i haven’t been able to find anything on the internet to corroborate these findings, which is leading me to believe i imagined them, i don’t see any reason to discontinue this practice.

unfortunately i was only privy to my own thoughts upon entering the men’s bathroom at nassau coliseum. obviously there were those who wondered where colin powell was seated after dropping the game’s first puck or if it was true, as had been speculated, that he was escorted to the roof and taken by helicopter back to washington. ten thousand people or less marveled at the free camouflage hat given away at the door and many tried to take pictures to send to their friends whose other obligations (work, distance, intelligence) kept them from the game. a few calculated how low they could bid on an autographed picture of rick dipietro with a yellowed section of game-used net and still win the auction. many wished that the member of the cast of entourage in attendance had been this guy rather than this guy, who is about four and a half feet tall in person (apparently the camera adds a few inches of height as well). some would have even preferred this guy, though they’d insist he adopt a different facial expression. a couple of people wanted to see this guy, but only so they could punch him in the face.

don’t get me wrong, there were also those who thought about the actual game, those questioning the national hockey league’s decision to replace the puck with a hot potato, as players consistently lobbed uninspired passes to the opposing team. the referees tried to help out the last-place islanders by giving them two five-on-three power plays but the team was too busy yawning to shoot. in acknowledgment of the lackadaisical play of the first period the islanders’ second period jersey featured a calico kitten sleeping beside a reddish-orange ball of yarn, the flyers mascot became a combination of three-toed sloth and flightless bird.

it wasn’t always like this in long island. for the first few years of my life, i thought that it was a requirement that the new york islanders be awarded the stanley cup, the team winning four years in a row following my introduction to the game (well, if i assume my introduction to the game came during my ninth month of life — and i ignored all the talk, during the 1979-1980 season, surrounding the montreal canadiens, last year’s champions).

just when the crowd was deciding on creative ways to end the game, russian roulette being, far and away, the top choice, danny briere faked a slap shot before wristing the puck over joey macdonald to make it 1-0. the only reason anyone stayed for the conclusion was that every child in attendance got to step on the ice and take a shot on goal. until then everyone sat on their hands as the intensity of the game demanded.

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home sweet home.

26 October 2008

can you give the guy i just kissed a cigarette? we were outside a bar in manhattan, and the guy she just kissed was homeless. earlier in the night he tried to pass off a bag of plaster as cocaine. later he wanted one hundred dollars to buy pot from up the street. he’d be back in a few minutes, he had to make the deal alone. when no one budged, he renegotiated his terms — he’d put in forty, if someone else would give him sixty. then we would get sixty percent? okay, he said, fifty/fifty, split down the middle. we hung around him long enough (or let him hang around us long enough) that the bouncer thought he was with us. your friend outside is causing trouble.

among his lies were that he was a basketball player, in the nba, and that he lived in paris. he was just in new york briefly, on vacation. he told some people he lived a block away and others that he lived in harlem. for a newport cigarette he will pay ten dollars (so he says), preferring their high nicotine and tar content; he’ll pay nothing for a camel, but will gladly smoke it. he is tall, six foot six or seven.

my friend told me she made out with him thinking he would be satisfied and continue on, leaving us alone. unfortunately girl kisses, even bad ones, act like magnets, with suitors returning again and again to attain the prize, for as long as it’s available. this magnetism probably especially affects homeless men who lean against cars while girls straddle them. it’s not hard to imagine them biting the girl’s bottom lip, bruising it, as if to say, this is my terrain, this is a place i can call home.


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