Best Story of the Week…May 16

Central Park…first light

As I’m cantering up Harlem Hill, otherwise known as Hamilton Heights, since it’s Alexander Hamilton’s old neighborhood, I see a young boy perched on the grass, elbows resting on his knees, selling bottled water.

His cardboard sign reads…1 dolla got ice if you wan it

Suddenly a police car pulls up, one of the little ones that resemble a golf cart, a young Asian fellow at the wheel.

I slow up to watch.

He calls the kid over to the window. They speak, then the kid goes back to get his wallet from his backpack.

In 12 Step they teach you…there’s three kinds of business…my business, your business and what’s not my business.

Well, as I’ve said before, this is a deal breaker when it comes to the welfare of a child, the elderly or an animal.

I step over to the patrol car.

“Officer, good morning. Tell me please, is this young man in trouble?” The kid looks up sheepishly before going back to his perch.

The cop immediately becomes defensive. “What’s it to you?”

I know I have to be smarter than he is since his asshole brights are blinding my good senses.

She breathes before answering.

“I see he’s trying to make a few dollars, and to be quite honest, I admire him for it. He’s just a kid after all.”

15 if he were a day.

“You can’t sell anything in the Park without a permit.”

Did I mention it’s no later than 6:30 A.M.?

“I understand. Of course you’re right, but he’s not in any serious trouble now is he?”

“He’s getting a warning, and if you’re so concerned, why don’t you dig in your pocket and help him out.”

Temper Susannah….TEMPER.

To be honest, I haven’t any cash and I doubt (I smile as I say this) he takes Visa. And also, it doesn’t look to me that he wants a handout. He’s legitimately selling water for a dollar. Yeah I know, without a permit, but still…there’s something noble about it, don’t you think Officer?”

He mulls this over as we both watch the kid pack up his cooler now on wheels.

“Imagine having to sell anything, for lunch money maybe. Could be me or you.”

“That’s why he only got a warning.”

His tone, so cold, I choose to ignore before taking flight.

I abruptly turn back, then think better of it.

I was all set to say, a young man a week or so ago hung himself off one of the bridges, but a little voice stops me knowing how upsetting it is to hear about it, even if Officer Asshole already knows.

Instead, I watch the kid wheel his water out of the Park, carrying his sign under his arm now upside down that reads…

1 dolla got ice if you wan it.Β 

God blessing the child who has his own.


About Susannah Bianchi

I'm just a girl who likes to write slightly on slant. I've had a career in fashion, dabbled in film and to be honest, I don't like talking about myself. Now my posts are another matter so I will let them speak for themselves. My eBooks, A New York Diary, Model Behavior: Friends For Life and Notes From A Working Cat can be found on Thanks.
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32 Responses to Best Story of the Week…May 16

  1. skinnyuz2b says:

    Susannah, as I read that the officer pulled up, I was hoping you were going to say that he bought a bottle. it seems like there would be so many bigger fish to fry.
    Based on his sign, the poor kid obviously hasn’t had a good education and therefore might have trouble getting decent employment. It sounds like he’s trying to make an honest dollar and hopefully won’t succumb to the allure of fast drug money.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. aFrankAngle says:

    Oh the heartache.


  3. Dale says:

    His asshole lights were blindingly bright. Honestly.would it have killed him to buy a bottle and tell him to be outta there by, I dunno, 7:30-8:00?
    What a schmuck of the highest order.
    I do understand that there would be a mess if everyone and their brother was allowed to sell willy-nilly sans permit but…

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Sorryless says:


    You would think the cop would have better things to do than to harass an enterprising young man like this. But of course not. And it astounds me, really. When the options are really pretty simple for the men in blue. If he’d purchased a couple bottles of water, he just engendered some goodwill with the kid. It would have been that easy.
    Alas, this is my naivete getting all dressed up with no place to go. Sadly.
    You always paint a vivid picture, fiery and robust.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Vasca Beall says:

    Having raised four sons I empathize here. The officer could’ve overlooked the law breaking but he didn’t. Could be he was afraid someone would tattle on him…who is to know at that early hour? Feel sorry for the boy…that’s what our present society has done for us. Tried taking the heart out of humanity…thankfully there remains a slew of kind hearts to help out…when they wisely choose. God help us have kind, generous, loving hearts. Yes, yes.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. How sad! I hope the young man understood that a total stranger wanted to help him.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. One of those, if one can, then…
    See, for instance, no one can burn trash in our community – safety reasons as it is a town and a strong tree area. So, everyone gets in trouble who burns trash, no matter why. I admit the officer was rather gruff, but, I do understand the point – if he allows the kid, then all will soon be doing it and the park will become a mess. I do see your point, but…it’s unfortunate…I wonder how much a license would have been? I bet more that all his water was worth.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. robprice59 says:

    Blood sweat and tears seems so very appropriate.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I both admire someone that young with entrepreneurial instincts like that and feel bad he has to sell water. My wife and I were talking today about kids in school who get in trouble for selling things and we both agreed it was admirable of them for taking the initiative to start a small business like that.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Patricia says:

    Maybe the cop was just doing what he is paid to do but I wonder if he has ever been hungry and with no one to give him food? Maybe your conversation will give him new eyes…and heart…to see the city he patrols.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Arrogance has no wiggle room, I’m afraid. he was in his 30s, young and strapping, with authority more than I’d say, regard for the law. The kid was so innocent. Think Huck Finn as a kid of color. sigh


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