At the ghetto coffee shop. Have not been here, to sit down at least, since pre-pandemic. It is Feb 23 2022.
I stayed away from here on account of nobody ever wearing masks, and considered staying away for good just to make a statement. But that would be a pitiful, unheard statement for the void.
I had an interesting encounter earlier. Exiting Grand Central Terminal onto Lexington Avenue at 43rd Street I heard someone call my name. By appearance the closest resemblance I could come up with to anyone I’ve ever known was Bob, the bushy-bearded dude from Tower Records.
It wasn’t Bob, but summoning the memory of that guy was good for my outlook on life. I don’t remember his last name and doubt if the other people I still could connect with from those days do, either. But he was a cool guy.
This was Larry, who used to live downstairs from me. We had several conversations across the years, none of which seem to have made it into his memory bank.
By my estimate our main connection was that he let me and a woman from the building enter his apartment and climb out his window. This was on a Sunday when the doors to the building were locked and no one could get out.
I called the building owner but he did not answer. I was in no panic but the woman who needed to get out was. She would be late to work and said she’d get fired on account of it.
So I thought quickly, in her interest more than mine, with the naturally gratuitous heterosexual male aspiration of using this bit of chivalry to get into her pants, or at least her good graces.
I failed to get into either but I did feel good about getting her out of the building in good time.
I knocked on Larry’s door, which was right next to the stubbornly-locked front doors of tbe building. He answered and I made the bold request: “Can we climb out your window?”
He laughed a bit, not failing to recognize the lunacy of the request. He agreed, but not without adding that if he did not recognize me he might well have refused. He did not recognize the other person at all.
I don’t recall all the specifics of the logistics but I remember grasping her hands and easing her from the window down to the ground. She took off for the subway, not even offering a fake apology for not reciprocating in assisting my descent from the window to the ground. It was a first floor window but still a pretty long distance to the ground.
I could have just stayed in and waited for someone to fix the door but I went ahead and jumped. I survived.
I tried to remind Larry of this incident today but he had no idea what I was talking about.
Another meta connection involved a woman friend of his who, for reasons I do not remember, stayed at his place for some months. Their relationship appeared to be platonic but apparently she felt it was important for her to be with him. I don’t remember why.
We became friends after I got mugged at knifepoint right outside the building. I had no way of knowing this but as I was frisked and robbed this woman was sitting about 10 feet away, watching every move.
But she had no idea this was a mugging. To her it looked like a perfectly consensual interaction. When I informed her this had been a mugging she heaped praise upon me for staying so calm and collected.
It was not news to me but she repeatedly told me that if a victim getting robbed thinks they are scared themselves they should know that the mugger is 10 times as nervous. Any amount of taunting or conversation could flip the switch and make them violent or even homicidal.
This woman suggested we have sex. I demured. In those days I was not wired for casual sex or for anything that did not at least appear to have a possibility to be lasting and “meaningful” (whatever the hell that means).
I should have boned her but I don’t care now.
Larry recognized me because he follows my Facebook exertions. I also think that me being maskless as we crossed paths went a long way toward facilitating recognition. We are the faceless generation. I’ve had the unnerving experience of crossing paths with people I’ve known for many years and failing to recognize them.
He had grown a Grizzly Adams type beard since the last time I would have seen his face. Even after a few moments I could not remember who the hell this was.
I seem to remember he has an IMDB entry for a bit part he played in a film.