The intersection of 86th and Lexington, at the end of my block, has become like the Gaza Strip. Between traffic, jackhammers and the casual demolition of buildings to make room for one more unwanted high-rise rivaling Tokyo, is daunting to just walk through.
Homeless people perch on all four corners like carnival barkers fighting with one another for space. Food trucks double-park selling tacos, lamb and caramelized popcorn.
A fat, middle-aged black woman with an eyepatch hands out free copies of Time Out, that even for free, no one wants.
We’re designed to adjust to whatever is placed in front of us, a blessing in our day to day existence, but if flipped over, our acrylic side might be absorbing just a tad too much for morality’s sake.
A man who sits in front of Best Buy with army boots without toes on the coldest of days, like this one, is lying on his side in the middle of the sidewalk, his cup of coins spilled beside him.
People rushing to the train step over him like a human pothole clutching their phones with more value.
Is he drunk at 7 a.m., merely asleep, or frozen solid from being out in the elements too long?
There’s a collective…who cares, gotta get to work, need a cuppa coffee, gotta Tweet what happened last night whoosh, as morning Manhattanites fly by.
I watch as a patrol car finally pulls up dragging the guy to the curb.
I find out later from Gus the parking lot attendant, the man did die from exposure, already replaced by a new tenant who uses his hat for his coins, rather than a cup.
I quickly look to see what shape his shoes are in.
They’re beat up penny loafers, that alas, have toes.