December 12, 2004

a small hot chocolate and a bowtie

I went on a marathon walk with a good friend of mine yesterday. We're both fed up with the drooping and sagging that has plagued our bodies in recent months so we've decided to counteract the flab while exploring our fine city. Yesterday we zig-zagged through Central Park talking a blue streak and burning calories all the while. We ooohed and aaahed over the windows at Bergdorf's, played with Jack Russell terriers by Wollman Rink, ate a crepe near the Boat House, directed tourists towards Belvedere Castle, took a lap around the Great Lawn and then finally left the park when it grew dark and the paths seemed "too Fisher King" for our liking. I already feel like I've got a little less jiggle. Good stuff.

Before meeting my friend, I wanted to fortify myself with a large Dunkin Donuts coffee. While waiting on line, a homeless woman stinking of booze approached me for "99 cents." Something about that specific amount touched me. I felt like George Bailey when Mrs. Davis asked for a meager $17.50 during the bank run in It's a Wonderful Life. I only had a twenty on me so I couldn't make change but I offered to buy her something to eat instead. Her eyes lit up when I said, "Anything you want." I was expecting and even hoping that she'd want something filling and more substantial like one of those croissant things with egg, sausage and cheese on it. Instead, she wanted a small hot chocolate and a bowtie.

I suggested she get more but she was more than happy with her original request. Mind you, she was so drunk that it took her about 10 minutes to relay her simple order to me (good thing the line was long). However, I could hardly grow impatient with her post-binge brain lag. That very morning, I woke up sitting upright on my couch with a sleeve of crackers in one hand, the remote in the other with the TV on, face unwashed, teeth unbrushed wearing only a t-shirt and my Hello Kitty undies. The night before, I arrived home a bit drunk courtesy of some Jack Daniels shots that Jess' Tall Guy generously bought us. I decided I needed to restore some sobriety so I turned on The Daily Show and got stuck into the saltines. I do believe I fell asleep mid-chew. I was the picture of drunken sloth so I was in no position to criticize someone else half in the bag. At least she had pants on.