Friday, February 17, 2006

Pink Ice in Auld Manhattoe

Crazy weather, woke up to rain, sloshed to subway in sleepy morning gloom.

Two guys on the N train, one tall, lanky, silver hair, streetwise face wearing blue windbreaker vest over workshirt, other guy brownhaired, shorter, clever fox face with shabby coat and blue jeans, both gripping their New York Posts, conversing about the events of the day. Silverhair is the raconteur, wiseguy voice complaining about the man keeping him waiting, "he says he's gonna be there at 9:30 and I'm still waiting at 10:30"and I don't know what kind of work he does but he says he needs the money. And they're talking about whether their numbers will hit and foxface says "we haven't hit a number since she took that dive," and they're reminiscing about a woman who leaped from a fifth story window and splattered herself on the sidewalk, she was a friend of silverhair, he says they had a good six months way back in the 80's, he was making an extra thousand a week, splitting his share, dealing drugs, and foxface wonders if it hurt splattering like that after the fall, silverhair says no, no, it was immediate, she didn't feel a thing.

So I get off the train at 57th Street and Seventh Avenue walking under sidewalk scaffolding leaking in big cold streams of rainwater.

Around 11 a.m. the sun comes out and all of a sudden it's a spring day, la la, everything is shiny and smells good in Auld Midtown Manhattoe. I do some errands during my lunch hour and I'm in Rockefeller Center walking by the skating rink and it's so nice outside I just stop by the rink, they're playing Ray Charles singing "You Don't Know Me," and I'm watching the skaters and the ice is pink, pink with big hearts on it, I wonder how they did that, and I know it's from Valentine's Day, and there are good skaters and falling down skaters and one little boy who is wobbling madly around the rink always looking as though he's about to fall but he doesn't.

A lady and her daughter ask me to take their picture and make sure the pink ice is in the background, so I snap the camera for them.

And now it's evening and cold winter again, thermometer plunged and the rest of the weekend is going back to winter. Before I went home I ran another errand downtown, by Union Square, the early evening sky above the park was rich dark violet of such clarity it dazzled my eyes.


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