The Newspaper Guy
The whirl of the revolving door brought a sudden gust of cold Manhattan air to Joe Brauns ruddy face as he stepped out of his office building for the 45 minute commute home. He turned right onto 7th Ave and buried his hands into his deep pockets. A very light flurry was falling, dusting his black hair and wool coat with white flakes.
He could easily afford to take a cab to Penn Station but he loved walking. Walking in Times Square at this time of the evening was challenging and exhilarating.
He breathed in deep as the cold air filled his lungs and stepped down onto the street.
Sidewalks are for tourists, he thought to himself. Just then a group of German tourists came toward him, his intuition told him to stay on the outside rim of the camera toting mass but an oncoming car forced him to find a gap inside which he managed to navigate without contact. He chuckled as he remembered an incident 20 years ago, when he was in Berlin for a summer weekend and was taunted by a group of anti-semites. He shouted back at them that when he’s back in New York he’ll taunt the first group of German tourists he sees...he never did...
His eyes drawn to the impossibly bright lights, reflected in his stylish glasses... Pedestrian walking should be a sport. It takes the same skill as does a running back in football, to be able to read the next moves of those walking toward and away from you in split seconds.. He’d be pretty good at it.
Suddenly he felt his phone vibrate he fumbled for it under his coat. It was an email... His chest suddenly tightened as he thought about this huge decision facing him at work. Frank, who used to be his closest buddy at work was double crossing him.. His fingertips were becoming numb so he pulled them out of the finger part of the glove and rolled them into a fist. He noticed a beautiful brunette coming toward him..nose in the air. Ugh hate when they know the world is staring at them.
He was sure that new girl Kathy was fooling around with Frank but what could he do about it? Why do people have affairs anyhow? How do logical sane people suddenly lose all logic and risk everything for that urge? Mmm that kebob smelled good..his mouth watered.. Are we really all just a bunch of mammals deep down with some kind of spirituality that can override the mammal instincts? Suddenly he looked around and all he saw were beasts..sophisticated mammalry hmm he liked that..sophisticated mammalry.. Animals using instincts with class, he almost laughed at this thought.. Watching the mating signals..the reproductive instincts..the feeding holes...the aggressiveness...ahh the Serengeti meets Times Square.. He paused to watch a mariachi band..looked at his watch..had a few minutes to spare..they were playing Yesterday by The Beatles..he loved that song... He was really looking forward to watching a good movie tonight and was hoping his wife would be in the mood... Damnit he forgot to return the book he borrowed from David... It was at his parents house and he wasn’t on talking terms with either of them as they tried dragging him into their quarrels. They should just get divorced already.
He saw a pair of headphones in the window on an electronic store and debated whether or not he had enough time to run in and buy it. He didn’t..He hurried his pace and almost stepped into horse dropping..gosh he wondered what New York streets were like 100 years ago.. Sure, how nice it mustve been to live in simpler times, but in those nostalgic thoughts somehow you never end up stepping in horse droppings.
He was just outside Penn Station now...
“Chalom Chalom” came a familiar voice from the crowd....as the smile of the Hispanic newspaper guy materialized from the crowd with a New York Times neatly folded..”How are you..my friend?..” Hey..I’m good..How was your day?..oh shoot I don’t have a dollar on me..”don’t worry..u pay me manyana..Have good trip..” he said shivering..in the cold.. He smiled and said Thank You..
Settling into his window seat he finally relaxed his tired legs.ahh it felt good...
A strange sort of melancholy washed over him as the train disappeared under the Hudson River. He suddenly wondered if that Newspaper Guy was the best friend he had in the world...and dozed off...