I believe in cause and effect.
What you do, how you treat others, will come back to you in kind.
I’m waiting for a friend when it starts to pour. I could run for cover, but have no way of telling him where I’d be, having forgotten my phone.
As I get wetter, I look up, and see a man who sells faux designer purses in front of my friend’s grocery store.
After casing the Avenue, not having a license, he opens a huge blanket tied in bows on both ends, displaying them on the sidewalk.
I never see anyone buying them, but he’s there anyway, hoping for the best…optimism, a quality I admire, inspiring me to always bring him a treat, coming from the store.
He likes tangerines he once told me, and plums, in season.
So this African man, quite tall, with the whitest teeth I’ve ever seen, is now galloping my way like a runaway racehorse.
Unbeknownst to me, he also sells rain gear, so there he is in one of his plastic, pastel neon parkas, the hood flapping, coming to bring me an umbrella.
I can’t say how moved I am by this.
I start taking money from my Barbour pocket to pay him, and despite the downpour, his jacket reminding me of an outside pool cover says, “No, no
muney,” those teeth flashing like Chiclets. When my friend finally comes, dry as a palm tree, he says, “Sorry I’m late, and how come, even with an umbrella, you’re still so wet?”
I shrug, and rather than explain, quote Bill Hicks…
“Oh, it doesn’t matter..
.it’s only fucking water.” As we run up the Met’s steps, I turn and see my favorite racehorse, happily making a sale.
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Bill Hicks 12/16/61-2/26/94
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