Forgot to mention

I was at 57th street and 7th Ave. in Manhattan the other day, and I was approached by a woman. It was snowing and I was wearing my hat and my noise cancelling head-phones, so she just started talking as if I could hear her. I pulled off one phone and said, “I’m sorry…”

“It’s a cold night and I don’t live far from here. Maybe we could go back to my place and have a little fun”

Matter of fact. This woman was… I mean, it’s hard to know, it was snowing she was in a puffy jacket and a hood, but I’ll say she was just this side of sixty. Just before I realized she was a prostitute, I heard myself say, “I’m flattered, but I really can’t.”

“You think I’m too old for you, that’s it,” she said.

“No,” I almost yelled, now realizing what was going on, “No, nono, the thing is, I’m probably too young for you!” And I sort of laughed like I was charming.

She said, “look at this,” and opened her coat enough just to reveal her cleavage. Which was nice. Well-maintained, the inside sections of her breasts looked almost polished. Buffed.

I just muttered something and walked on.


Two days ago I was walking along 31st street in Astoria and a woman who was clearly in her 70s fainted right in front of me. I was barely able to get my arms out and catch her as she started going down. Another guy who was walking near me grabbed her other arm, and we held her, slowly lowering her to her knees.

I asked her if she was okay and she smiled and said, “I got so dizzy all of a sudden!” but she was clearly not looking right at me. I asked her if we should call 911, and she said, “be a dear and call a cab.”

“Be a dear”. I swear to God.

I went across the street and asked a cab if he could swing around. There are only gypsy cabs in Astoria, and these guys are mostly vultures. There was a third guy with us, and of course a gaggle of older women who all sort of gathered about in a second and clucked over this woman like an instant immigrant sewing circle. The third guy went to talk to the cops.

The gypsy cab swung around and waited for about thirty seconds. When he saw there was commotion and it might be a longer wait, he just took off. Of course, a minute later the third guy came back and said the police could call an ambulance, but they couldn’t take the woman home.

The cab had spun another U-turn and was across the street, so I went to get him back. He turned and yelled in my face, “I cross street and you no get in cab, I don’t have time for you.”

I swear to God, I wanted to crack this mother fucker’s skull in two. But years of spending time with a higher quality of person made me grab his jacket and quietly say in his face, “You’re a bad man,” and push him back into his cab door. That’s it.

It took about two minutes to get another cab, and he pulled right up to the curb. I told him what was going on and he said, “I get her home, I get out of cab and make sure she get inside. Don’ worry.”

The second she was in the cab, the crowd evaporated like rubbing alcohol on a hot skillet. No-one in New York wants another goddam friend, we don’t have time. The cab drove off and I walked away. For some reason I turned back and I saw the third guy, the one who went to get the cops, walking the other way and turning back toward me. We both just raised a hand to each other and then turned back and walked away.