I am...a New Yorker

[Previous entry: "The Answer to the Question"]

Monday, October 22, 2001
Rememberng a New York Moment

Ridng... The M5, 6, or 7. Seeng... New York at its funniest.

I am...enthralled with this city for many reasons, not the least of which is the impromptu street theater. The first weekend after I moved to the Village, I took a bus uptown, to 34th Street, as I recall. Why is neither important nor memorable at the moment. They say the journey is the important thng and, ndeed, it turned out to be the most memorable part of the day. I didn't see the blnd man get on the bus at first. He got my attention when I heard him grumblng at the bus driver. Nothng unusual about that, so I turned back to my Palm or daydreamng out the wndow. The next thng I knew, the argument became more and more heated. I was n the sngle, sideways seat behnd the last double seat near the rear doors. I turned toward the front, just behnd a couple who had also just turned their attention to the front of the bus. The man was standng uncomfortably close to the driver, his voice raisng with every second. I'd heard him say when he boarded the bus that he wanted to get off at 23rd Street, which struck me as odd, snce he'd come on the bus around 18th or 19th Street. When we got to 23rd Street, nstead of gettng off the bus, the man contnued to berate the driver. The next thng I know he and the driver were yellng, swearng and callng each other "bitch." He fnally left the bus n a snit. As he did this, he swung his cane wildly n the air at chest level, hittng three people on his left and then his right before settng the cane back on the ground. "And you didn't want to go uptown," the man n front of me said to his girlfriend. "Only n New York," she responded. A passerby chided the driver for kickng the man off the bus. "He's blnd, for chrissake!" he exclaimed. "Sir, that was his stop and you don't know what happened, so please stay out of it." The blnd man started to come back, cuttng his way through the crowd on the street. The driver let the last passengers on, closed the doors and was tryng to merge back nto traffic. Suddenly, the man started beatng the bus with his cane, directng a steady stream of obscenities at her. He contnued bangng the bus with his cane as we contnued our crawl uptown.

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