Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Afternoon Dog Tea

Coffee shops in Manhattan are the equivalent to a College bar scene. Seats next to outlets (for which we can plug in our computers) are the hoochie sorority girls making out with one another and sporting minimal clothing. And cafe patrons are the disgusting frat boys eyeing, longingly -- waiting for their chance to move in.

Ive never felt more connected to those frat boys. I would give anything to get a seat next to an outlet. Anything. That's how quickly my shiny, brand new Apple computer loses battery power.

In my local cafe, there are about four outlets. Two are near the front door -- the exact same door whose drafty engineering allows the brisk (piss freezing cold) air to come through and chill the hair on your arms. The other two seats are located in the back, near the heater... where it gets so hot, you can feel the sweat create a pool in the dimples of your lower back. These are the prime seats.

And today, I got one. I walked in after a day of grueling dog walking, to find an aura of Godly light shining down on the seat in the back -- beckoning me to its holy outlet. I sat down, and began furiously typing away when I noticed the seat next to me become occupied by a 30-something man and his cheesecake.

He took his fork and broke off a piece of the dessert. With broad strokes, almost like two swimmers belly flopping into each other, this man passionately, and with great fervor, smacked his lips around the first bite. And he continued to smack his lips with a vengeance in between truck driver swallows of his chosen beverage. Each time his mouth opened, strings of mucous and cheesecake connected the top from the bottom. And when he had filled his cake hole with enough food, his lips came down with a saliva-coated crack.

I wanted to kill him.

How difficult is it, to simply keep your mouth closed when you eat? Especially when you're sitting two inches away from another person? Moreover, cant you tell that your eating is making a sound?! I stopped typing and glared. This man was completely oblivious to his own "I was raised in a barn" vibe... and now he thought I was hitting on him.

His girlish waving and incessant smacking, made me rethink the situation's political protocol: Wasn't it sort of my duty, as a friendly neighbor, to advise this man on his disgusting, born-from-a-cow, habit? Or, by some crazy Judeo-christian credence, would that be considered "out-of-line"? I eventually decided on the latter, and with a defeated sigh, moved to a non-outlet table.

But even as I sit, across the room from this horse-of-a-man -- Even though his plate is now empty -- I cant help but viciously send eyebeams of contempt his way. He, along with his Manatee lips have ruined everything, and for that, I can never forgive him.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Save Me

I think I witnessed the efforts of a suicidal pigeon today. Either that, or the tiny bird was blind, deaf and drunk.

I was walking Wally (the aging boxer) when I noticed the little guy tempting fate in the middle of the street. "Pidge" looked like he had just come off a four-night drinking and hooking binge and was now wandering the paved roads with reckless abandon. He had given up on life and remained completely unfazed as looming tires came within centimeters of his little feathered body.

The whole ordeal broke my heart. Maybe I saw a little part of myself in the tiny beady eyes staring back at me over his dirty beak. I too hadn't showered in days, and was feeling the overpowering blanket of depression cover me with feelings of insecurity and uncertainty about my future. And sometimes, I eat things off the floor. It's like we were two soul friends connecting just at the right moment.

I felt horrible, and tried to devise a plan to talk him off the ledge. But I feared that approaching Pidge with Wally in hand would only push him further into the depths of despair. So, I stood on the side of the road and, with open arms (and matzah crumbs), coaxed the Winged Depressive over to me.

There was no way for me to explain -- in bird speak -- that everything would be ok. But I still felt confident about my exploits. Pidge got a new lease on life, and so did I.