I broke my vegan fast on the plane with some thai curry rice, yet, I was still hungry when i got into nyc, i didn't have much time to make my connection, so i vent to my little favorite pizza place by the ny times building and port authority. it is nothing fancy, you get two slices and a drink for $5. the place just has sentimental value to me, as i don't know how many trips in and of nyc started or ended with slices at this tiny spot. the view out the window is what you see if you click on the contact page of this site. from the window seat, you get to see a microcosm of new york city walking by you. depending on the mood of the day, times square either collides or blends with port authority. perky happy tourists with wide eyes of wonderment swoosh past the locals who appear covered with many layers of sedimentation from living a life not in 50 million dollar penthouse with staff - but one of getting by to surviving. street people meet professionals, who meet the dark eyes of those out to do no good and everything in between. I sat down to eat my pizza slices and two women started fighting in front of the window. I smiled to myself, "yes, you are no longer in the alps where people have a high respect for each other...you are in nyc."
moments later, a woman walked in a long winter coat with "hungry eyes." unless you have ever been really hungry in your life, or hung out with kids starving to death and it is too late for anyone to save them - you probably have no idea what I am talking about, but you can sense that the person just wants some food with the piercing look in their eyes. I didn’t think much about her until I turned around and saw her counting nickels and pennies to buy a slice of pizza. the one guy behind the counter saw it, looked at me, i nodded...i like moments of unspoken language where two strangers know what the other is thinking. he knew i would buy her the pizza.
I digress. I have come to know the pizza workers by face over the past few years. maybe the always remember me because one night i was dressed up and crack (insert drug of choice - we all still don't have a clue) woman that saw me sitting at the window, started pounding on the glass and licking it, then walked in and said, “sir, you be fine, I’d like to suck you off.”
When a crazed woman who you never met with glazed eyes walks in and tells you that. You get up and say, “ma’am if you take one step closer, I am going take you out”
argh, digression #2...i must be tired. The rest of the story "hungry eyes" story is that woman walked out the door; i must have been lost in the simplicity of how good my little slice was tasting, but she turned to me with the biggest smile with tears streaming down her checks. "thank you."
I was a bit stunned and the speed and noise of the moment in the city seemed to die out for a few seconds and i looked out the window and there was all her possession is bags by the entrance of the subway. I marveled with the joy radiating from her face from a slice of pizza. So I walked out and gave her my soda, “you forgot your drink to wash it down, ma’am.”
I should keep my mouth shut about all this, but it was a neat moment and it gets me to a place where I didn’t explain to the interesting young man on the plane, was when you have lots of money, possessions and things and are getting paid silly money to do what you would do for free. It is very easy to loose your way and get sucked into the world. You tend to forget where you came from and who you are. Then one day, you wake, look around at what you were doing for “living” and go “what happened to me?
Each time I come back into america, I get sad watching the trajectory of where country is heading. It isn’t going up for most, no matter how much makeup and fake parts we try to surgically implant try to cover up the problems. it isn’t too late for the country to turn itself around.
Now I stare out the window, wait for my bus, and watch the menagerie of people, colors, races sized and shapes that do make up this country. maybe this week i will write about what i saw and heard in the big city. nyc is a great city, but i must be too old to want to live there..perhaps it is just meant for me to visit anymore to watch and see.