March 16, 2011

Life lessons...


Years ago my daily walks usually took me through a tiny city park called Tompkins Square, located in the slowly gentrifying but still filthy and smelly Manhattan neighborhood known as the East Village.  One time a young guy sitting on a bench asked me for a cigarette.  This he did with politeness completely unexpected from a typical Tompkins Square junkie: his hair had not been washed in months, some of his front teeth were missing, and his body was not far from reaching the state of a dessicated mummy.  I had about a quarter of a pouch of Drum tobacco with me (enough for about 5 cigarettes), so I gave it all to him since I was only a couple of blocks away from home where there was plenty more.  My "generosity" seemed to make the guy quite happy, and, perhaps as a way of showing his gratitude, he suddenly augmented his thanks with a cheerful "Lighten up, man!"

I suppose this parting bit of advice was inspired by my perfectly neutral but decidedly Eastern European facial expression, which most natives perceive as being somewhere between a frown and a scowl.  Be that as it may, the thought that kept spinning in my mind for the rest of my walk home was:

Fuck me!  I just received some life coaching from a mummified junkie with missing front teeth!

2 comments:

Guillermo said...

I love you, maready, and can see by this post that clearly, the abovementioned tobacco-grantee had absolutely no cause to impose such a preposterous suggestion upon you, or near you.

;)

welker said...

On the other hand, maybe he was a yurodivy...