READER SUBMITTED CONTENT It was a Tuesday. Or was it a Wednesday? Regardless, it was a weekday, and I was looking for something interesting to occur on an unusually dull afternoon, so I went to the one place where I’ve witnessed drunken brawls and men high on nitrous asking me for drugs, and have had meaningful conversations with wandering banjo players: Union Square.
It was a Tuesday. Or was it a Wednesday? Regardless, it was a weekday, and I was looking for something interesting to occur on an unusually dull afternoon, so I went to the one place where I’ve witnessed drunken brawls and men high on nitrous asking me for drugs, and have had meaningful conversations with wandering banjo players: Union Square. It’s a reliable place for a person like me to get their needed daily fix of the bizarre.
I sat by the statue of the guy on the horse (I haven’t bothered to look at the plaque explaining it), tried and then pretended to read a Samuel Beckett novel for one of my classes. In between re-reading the same sentence, I watched a nearby group of teenage skateboarders. After a few minutes, a guy I’ve seen in Union Square regularly dealing drugs came up to me. He asked why I was sitting on the dirty pavement and then told me that one of his friends (apparently one of the skateboarders) wanted to talk to me, but was too shy to. He asked me if it was alright if he came to speak with me, and I said it was fine. A minute later, this blond kid of about 17 came by and sat down next to me on his skateboard. He told me his name was Sasha and that he was born in Estonia (I’m not quite sure I believed him). Throughout our conversation he kept picking at an angry welt on his arm.
After five minutes, two of his friends came by and sat down with us. They consisted of a young and rather dazed looking girl in a peasant shirt and skirt and a boy in brown corduroys with wild, long brown hair. He reminded me of a very earnest 50-year-old ex-hippie who believed fiercely in the consciousness expanding properties of LSD, but had taken too much of it as a teenager, thus leaving him with a vacant stare. I talked to this kid about our various experiences on mushrooms and asked about the green paint covering his limbs, to which he responded, “I don’t remember how it got there, it happened at this guy Richard’s apartment, I think.”
I noticed the dazed girl was beginning to undress because “her nipples were showing” in her gauzy peasant top. She asked me if I thought so and I replied, “Well, I can see your nipples but who cares?” Disregarding my opinion, she took out another shirt from a plastic bag beside her and put it on. Then she took off her skirt and put on a pair of jeans from the bag. All of this took place in a very crowded Union Square, but no one seemed to notice a 15-year-old girl undressing. After she finished changing, Sasha asked me if I wanted to go drinking with him and his skateboard gang. I said sure and got up, saying goodbye to his two friends.
Carrying two six-packs of Blue Moon, we met up with the drug dealer and the gang at a restaurant on University Place. We didn’t buy anything and sat at an outdoor table drinking beer and obviously bothering the other customers. This was most likely due to the skateboard kid wearing a shirt with a woman being eaten out by a fat man (he claimed he got it at Trash and Vaudeville, but I think he made it, due to the fact that the picture was drawn on using Sharpie). He was laughing like a deranged child and wouldn’t stop making jokes as to how the froth in the beer bottles looked like “pussy froth.” I don’t know what the hell he was talking about. He was a fucking idiot, but his 14-year-old girlfriend found his jokes about mythical pussy froth endearing.
The next 15 minutes consisted of Sasha apologizing for his friends. I didn’t care, it was pretty entertaining. However, after about a half an hour one of the waiters came up to our table, telling us to get “the fuck out of his restaurant” if we weren’t going to buy anything. The drug dealer began violently arguing with the waiter in Spanish for a few minutes. We finally succumbed and retreated to a nearby stoop to finish the beers. The drug dealer asked me about my nationality. When he discovered I was one-eighth Cherokee he became incredulous, saying, “Everyone fucking says that, man, but I grew up on a fucking reservation. I’m pure blood.” I looked at him like he was crazy because this guy was obviously Puerto-Rican and apparently a pure-blood loving fascist. I said, “Wow, what reservation?”. He responded by mumbling, “Some place upstate.”
We returned to Union Square, where I met other members of the gang. One of the guys I met was this flamboyant gay man probably high on amphetamines or coke (he was talking a mile a minute and clenching his jaw constantly). He proudly told me he could guess any woman’s bra size on the first try. I said, “Go ahead, prove it.” He then paused and looked at my breasts. After thirty seconds he said, “You’re a 32 B.” “Wrong”, I said. “OK, then what is your size?” “32 C.” “No fair!” he shouted, “That’s a tricky fucking size! It’s unusual!” He did know a lot about breasts for a gay man. After a few more minutes of talking to him I excused myself, saying I had to get back to class, to which the gang responded, “Why the fuck do you wanna go back to class?”
A few days later I saw Sasha again. He was walking down Fourth Avenue wearing a private school uniform and pretended he didn’t see me. He was probably embarrassed by the tie and khakis, which are no substitute for ripped jeans and a skateboard, apparently.
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