I’m on 86th and Third, waiting for the light to change.
A cab pulls up. The door swings open, but all I see are two legs the size of sequoias, hanging off the seat.
I peek in to find a very large man more or less, stuck, unable to get out.
My first reaction is to offer my hand, he ignores, focusing on nothing particular as if he’s trying to figure out what to do. I realize too late, the last thing he’d want, is for a woman to help him.
The driver and I look at each other, while the crosstown bus pulls up unable to pass. Now there’s a crowd gaping, making it all so much worse for this poor, obese fellow who’s still stuck.
There’s another heavyset man who panhandles on the corner, so I wave to him, motioning to please come over.
He does, swiftly waddling up the block like the chubby cavalry.
He sees immediately what the problem is, so he hands me his coffee can filled with change, leans down and says to the man, “We’s got this bro—don’t you worra’,” before grabbing him by his middle, squeezing his sides like a greased girdle, gently easing him out.
Imagine the Jaws of Life if they were attached to a middle-aged black man.
They shake hands before the man takes flight, the rescuer, reclaiming his coffee can, returning to his corner. The cabbie and bus go on their way, and the street commences, like a frozen film clip that had gotten jammed in the machine.
As for me, considering the circumstances, thinks it best to skip lunch.
Just another tale, in the Naked City.