Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Monday night in Manhattan

I saw a kid throw himself in front of a cab last night.

Of course, if I was on the witness stand, I would have to admit, under cross-examination, that I was walking on the island where Park Ave South peels off to 4th Ave around 9 PM when I heard a woman scream “No-o-o-o-o-o!” for a good two seconds in a voice that sounded like she was watching someone get killed.  I looked to my right and three things happened at the same time: I heard tires screech, I saw a kid bounce off the front left headlight of a cab, and I heard that same woman yell: “What are you DOING!?!”

The rest of it I can say I saw first-hand.  The driver of the cab opened the driver-side door and stepped out onto the street as two guys and a girl ran up to the kid on the street and picked him up. Amazingly, he looked unhurt.  Not even shook up.  Just angry.

The kid yelled: “It’s so STUPID!”

My mind went: whoa, he’s angry because they’re saving him.

The driver of the cab yelled: “What do you think you’re DOING?”

“LEAVE HIM ALONE!” yelled the girl.

The guy tried to shake everybody off and yelled a bunch of curses so loudly his voice hoarsed out by the fourth one.

My mind went: whoa, he’s angry because he’s not dead.

They dragged the kid back to the island, where three guys and a girl were sitting on the railing watching.  One of the guys had a skateboard; the girl wore black leggings and a ripped T-shirt and had tri-colored hair: jet black, Lucille Ball red, and Lucky Charms green.

“It’s all so STUPID,” the kid said, as everyone clustered around him and started yelling at him. 

“It’s not that bad!” the tri-colored hair girl said.

“Yes it is--yes it is--yes it is,” said the kid, over and over again.  He put his head in his hands and bent over, either because he was in pain or because he was trying to shut out everybody and everything.

He only looked up when the kid with the skateboard touched his shoulder.

He shook off Skateboard Kid's fingers like they were five cockroaches.  "The world is full of ASSHOLES!"  he announced.

My mind went: whoa, if he thinks that now, wait till he gets to be my age.

Then the woman in front of me started taking pictures of the kid with her iPhone.  I looked at her and my mind went: whoa,  assholes is right, and that’s when I shook my head and turned away.

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