June 2, 2006

Friendly Encounters

Friday, June 2, 2006

are what I love about New York City. Sure there are plenty of un-friendly encounters like this one, but I do enjoy that on any given day you could meet anybody and I don't mean just celebrities, which can happen too but just anybody. It makes life interesting.

Much to my friends constant worry and warnings when it comes to me talking to strangers, I still do it. I'm not saying I'd go up to someone sketch and say top of the morning, I just mean speaking innocently to people around you if the situation is right. For example you both witness something bizarre it's fun to say to something snarky to the person next to you or hear their comment.

Today as I was running a bit late to work and strolling to the subway. I felt someone next to me on my right, so I moved to the left to let them pass, but I could still sense the person hovering. I look up and over and there's this guy looking at me. Not in a creepy way but it was still weird that he walking in stride with me. He smiled and said something but Cyndi Lauper was playing in my ear, so I popped out my earphones and eloquently said "What?" and the scene unfolds...

Stranger in a polo shirt: "Just wanted to say you're lovely, that's it."

Tara caught off guard: "Oh, um, thanks?"

Stranger laughs and declares: "We live on the same street."

Tara a bit suspicious: "We do? Which street is that?"

Stranger acting a bit cocky but still smiling and walking in time with Tara. "On ---."

Tara impressed but still cautious: "Then I guess we do, howdy neighbor."

Stranger holds out hand and says, "Hi my name is Otto."

Tara spots that the light is flashing do not walk and that she has to cross the street despite Otto leading her straight and cutting off her path. "I'm Tara, sorry gotta catch that light, have a good one."

Otto calls out: "You too." I assume he keeps walking, since I didn't look back. End scene.

The encounter reminded me of the Sesame Street song that my cousin Selena used to play in the car when she was younger, "These are the people in your neighborhood, the people that you meet each day."

Generally I do pass some of the same people on my route to the subway, like the french guy that always has his daughter on his shoulders or his back, a guy who looks like Cedric the Entertainer and a large American Indian homeless man who my mom swears is the actor from One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest who may have fallen on hard times. She keeps saying she's going to go ask him and I wonder how that conversation will play out and what his crew of street sleepers would say. I looked it up though and the actor, Will Sampson, passed away in 87, but the homeless guy does resemble him in sheer size.

Also a movie called I Think I Love My Wife with Chris Rock was filming on my (and Otto's) street yesterday, but I only saw the production aftermath.

Just read: Match Me If You Can

Currently reading: Why Do Men Have Nipples?

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