Tuesday, July 23, 2002 :::
i often go to bryant park on my lunch hour, to read, relax, take in a little sun, and c. it's a generally happy time for me, that hour of bryant parkitude, and i really enjoy the quiet of being away from my insane boss and extremely insane clientele. but every once in a while, new york intrudes on my sojourn, and yesterday was one of those whiles.
i was sitting in one of those little green chairs they have scattered around, and no sooner had i opened up a new graphic novel, than i was asked by a fellow gen-xer when the lawn was due to open for the moviegoers. fuck if i knew, though i immediately saw the sign right in front of him and said, "it looks like 5:00." he apologized, and walked away cursing (he was two hours early.) i went back to my pictures, and was intruded upon by a kindly looking gentleman wearing a PATAKI badge, carrying a clipboard. he asked me if i was registered to vote in ny state. i said "i'm a registered democrat, sir," sternly enough, to make him say, "ah, yes, firm ideals... that's good. it's never too late to switch sides." i said, "maybe not, but it's definitely too early." he smiled and walked away to accost other city democrats. i turned the page. then another. then a third. (not bad!) then another fellow gen-xer came up and said "are you by any chance a registered democrat?" i said yes, and he asked me to sign a petition to put cuomo on the gubanatorial ballot. while i think cuomo is an absolute idiot for that stunt he pulled last month saying pataki didn't do anything for september 11th, i'd rather support the process than deride it, so i put my my signature on the paper. he thanked me and left. i read another page. one more. another. getting into it now. a fratboy type walks up and asks if he can interrupt me. having never truly gotten started, i gave in, and said why not. he sits down and proceeds to tell me:
he is a journalist for the new york observer, doing a piece on women's feet in summertime. not a fetish piece, just a little article about how some women can be sooooo hot but have really ugly feet in their sandals, and what's up with that. can he turn on the tape recorder. sure. do i notice this phenomenon. sure. what's the worst i've ever seen, and c. and c. the interview lasts ten minutes. we're talking about sandals, open toed shoes, pedicures, fungus, hairy legs, the gamut. a very strange conversation. he's giggling the whole time, and i wonder if this is actually a man on the street article, or just some guy getting his jollies. he asks my n ame, and gives himself a verbal reminder on the tape of what i look like, asks me about my shoes, thanks me, says the thing will run not this wednesday, but next wednesday, and walks off.
i made a note to pick up the observer on wednesday the 31st, put away my book, and walked back to 46th street.