my wandering in the city between meetings was odd. I keep being prodded with some spiritual work and I wonder if the critical mass on the planet is so high that the next crash is going to hurt a whole lot of normal people and further enrich a few super wealthy? the signs are all there - and it will not bode well, as I don’t think the govt can print more money and manipulate rates and such to keep playing with the house of cards that is the foundation from 2008.
so as I walked down the street, I came into St Patrick’s Cathedral and pulled out a prayer book more attune to monks than mere mortals like me. I read through the sequence and seemingly lost track of time for a bit, got up and started walking. I was sweating because it was so hot and muggy, here is the list of folks I came up with. it makes me wonder how much of the country is a bit nuts. today had me wonder if medicating some people might not be a bad idea?
Mr. brisket – how do I describe this guy. I don’t know his story and I am guilty of not giving with a cheerful heart when he asked, “can you get me a sandwich?” I am getting beat over the head by the creator to help when asked, and in the city, you have a lot of people that you genuinely feel bad about – who are in a bit of trouble already, yet, the heat, can be as disastrous as extreme cold for them. so we walk into a sandwich joint and the guy orders what I thought was “1/2 lb. of brisket and ½ lb. of burnt tips.”
I turned my head at the guy and said, “for a someone begging, you have nice tastes. you asked for a sandwich so pick one.” this is where I am guilty of trying to do something for someone and they don’t want to help themselves, and/or are playing some con or a game?
how that went down was the guy reminded me of a trust fund kid that got caught up in something and was cut off. he was smart, intelligent and for whatever reason, hungry – he got fed. I got called his angel and said, “I am a pretty sh*tty angel if I am giving you this with a less than cheerful heart…I was giving you what you asked for.”
Ms. Harassment - I left Mr. brisket and I really don’t have a clue about the NYC subway. but have found that from JFK it is the fastest (LIRR) and most reliable. so I am trying to navigate to a meeting and I am lost. so I walk up to a woman and ask, “excuse me, ma’am is this the right train to get to (insert stop)”
I kid you not, her exact words were, “I would appreciate you stop harassing me as a black woman.” yep, I sort of went blank and looked at her with a strange disbelief.
“Ma'am, how is asking if this is the right train and asking for help, harassment?”
that is when I realize the woman was not all there and had issues that probably needed some help, but i wonder if they ever will get help? so i went upstairs to find someone that could tell me the right transfer…voila… now that i think about it, there are a lot of people trying to jet get through the day...like a man in the gym i went to who i never interacted with - yet - for whatever reason, i triggered some anger from his past life? it is a sad and growing issue in the usa.
the thirsty dude(s) – he got hydrated because he looked like he was going to fall over and drop with heat exhaustion. he smiled and said thanks, and I learned it is cheaper to buy Gatorade on sale for the street folks than actual water. who knew water would be more expensive? I soon learned to give out Gatorade instead of water to the people. it isn’t like Switzerland where you have water fountains in most places…or am I simply remembering walking across the country in summer and being thankful there were streams and fountains to drink from across most of the country – it saved weight carrying a lot of water with the amount I sweat.
old theater lady, I was walking along theater row and she was just sitting there in her chair with a cup with a metro card in it. “thank you, sir, didn’t even ask!”
“it’s ok ma’am. I have had one of those odd days…enjoy.”
and then I got to chat deep intimate nonsense with significant others in my life and truly put the icing on the cake of weird, strange and bizarre.
I think more people do not want to change than try…they are too scared to fail? at least Mr. brisket had lovely taste. he ate better than I did today.
OG weed smoker - so I went to get my 2 slices of pizza before heading out, and I see a brother lighting a blunt on the street corner. I just started laughing as for all the police and assault rifles you see in times square, you got a block or two away, it smells like skunks.
so here was this young man lighting up a fat doobie and smiling. I just had to laugh at the oddness of it all and he saw me laughing. so there in front of the New York Times, we fist pumped and he called me, “og weed.”
crack/meth lady - I saw here from a distance simply lying out on the sidewalk. at first, you wonder is this another of the homeless who need help? or is this someone that doesn’t want help and as I got closer I recognized her from a year before. the effects of meth or whatever she is using are doing a slow-motion decay of her in front of my eyes. she smiled and said hello and you know this was not her life before she got addicted to wherever she is taking. it is a tragic tale of what drugs and addiction can do to someone and I wager their family. really not much to say…
work today was actually great, it is my personal life that is goofy beyond belief.
there is such a contrast in life in the city, from the super-rich and the super poor…there appears to be a widening chasm between the two in the city and the reality is those in the middle are getting squeezed out of the city. when you watch and observe the various people in cafes, meetings, buildings, publix and the street – you can sense that one thing is taking over..that being the cell phone making people dumber and less social by the minute. I can’t explain the phenomenon. it is like people don’t really take the time to look or even a moment to acknowledge other people. it seems strange, yet, based on the characters I met in a few hours walking along the streets of Manhatten…if I wasn’t built like a linebacker, would I simply have fears about looking or talking to anyone else?
I think it is time to go off into the dessert for good. I can only change and work on myself, try to help others – if they don’t want to change – then I have no answers or solutions. life is dynamic, not a static place. and I am guilty of being held back by a few others.