Saturday, March 8


It was pouring in NY last night. I walked the 25 blocks from work to the pub anyway; I really don't mind the rain at all. Some days I prefer it actually.

It's surprising to me when someone is ill prepared for the elements. I almost always carry an umbrella; you just never know when a NY shower is going to hit especially when it’s been so unseasonably warm this month.

I must have passed at least two dozen umbrella-less people last night. I found this fascinating. Why didn't they listen to the weather report? Why don't they carry an umbrella? Why didn't they just buy a $3 one from the Asian woman on the corner? Do they need to ensure that they will be the soaking wet center of attention upon arriving at their destination? Aren't they afraid of getting sick? Do they simply not care?

I wondered what these sogs were thinking for a few blocks until a new thought popped into my head. If I'm so concerned with their well-being, why don't I just give someone MY umbrella? I was wearing a baseball cap and hood so it wouldn't have been a big deal. Hmmm...interesting.

I began to pay extra attention to The Wet Ones to figure out who should get my umbrella. Court is now in session, the Dishonorable Thighs will now judge you: too fat, too skinny, too pretty, too bitchy, too creepy, too fast, too slow, too weird, too tall, too short, too everything. No one "deserved" my umbrella. It was survival of the fittest! I tightened my grip and held my umbrella with pride, pretending it was a gift for The Chosen Dry Ones who...then my cell phone rang and snapped me back to reality.

By the end of the phone call I forgot all about giving someone my umbrella and moved onto paintball. A handful of us are going, I really hope everyone has a good time. I just know I'll be completely black and blue tomorrow night...I'll post pics of my bruises if I get any in a non-stretch mark/spider-vein/cottage cheese area.

My rainy trek lasted about 30 minutes. I finally made it to the bar around 6pm, but get umbrella didn't make it there with me.

I was waiting for the light to change on the corner of 23rd Street half a block away from the bar. I stood there staring at the people across from me on the other corner, half looking at them, half looking into space. I'd say there were about 15 people across the way, most of them properly dressed for the weather with a hat, hood, or umbrella. There was only one person who stood out, an old man standing directly in front of me.

The man was probably in his 60s. No hat, no umbrella. His wet white hair was a shocking contrast to the black and gray crowd around him. He was wearing an open, oversized trench coat, his t-shirt underneath completely soaked. Ironically his pants were floods, the cuff a good four inches from his shoe. His socks were drenched and sagging.

The light changed and we walked toward each other. He was a muttering, disheveled mess. He kept fidgeting with a plastic bag in his hand; I assume it was to make sure the contents would stay dry. He honestly seemed normal, just a sad, old man that got caught in the rain. I put my head down and kept walking.

A step later, I felt like I failed. Another step, I felt like I let him down. A third step, he was the one. I turned around.

"Sir! Sir!" He tripped into a pothole, his entire right foot submerged in a puddle.

"Sir!" I tapped him on his shoulder as he shook his shoe. "Take my umbrella."

He was such a mumbling space-cadet that I'm not too sure what his response was, but I think it was "Oh? Oh, OH!" He took the umbrella and kept walking.

I turned back toward the bar wearing my baseball cap, my hood, and a huge smile. My heart was full of love, my soul felt clean and good.

And then I laughed…maybe The Wet Ones had given up their umbrellas, too.

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