Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Humanity Update: . . . Still Nuts

If you've lately convinced yourself that the world is anything but a loosely held together circus of lunatics, please find your way to the Starbucks cafe at the Barnes & Noble in Union Square at your earliest convenience.

Yes, many of the people are studying or talking to friends. But the exceptions are strong. One pair, a balding, scraggly-haired guy in blue jeans and a woman reading a paranoid book about the government, have gotten up and switched tables the last three times that people adjacent to them have left. In the course of about five minutes, total. They seem to be evolutionarily wired to move into freshly unoccupied spaces.

But they are beaten to the crazy-punch bowl by a woman to my left. She is wearing a hoodie and earphones. She looks a bit (just a tiny bit) like Alfre Woodard. She is laughing hysterically with regularity. Like, hand to the mouth, stomp the floor, fight back tears laughing. What is she reading? A guide book to Helsinki. (The guy sharing the table with her -- it's awfully crowded in here -- doesn't seem to mind. He looks as if he wandered in here because OTB closed for the night. He just pulled a vodka bottle out of a plastic grocery bag, surveyed the paltry quarter-inch or so left sloshing around at the bottom, and calmly put it back in the bag with an almost imperceptible look on his face of aw, shucks.)


Blogger Barbara Carlson said...

Blame it on Barnes & Noble near a cell-phone tower? It must be, I spent an hour trying to buy a book (albeit used) from their internet site, including reaching an actual person there who EVENTUALLY was helpful in a very dim sort of way.


Nothing worse than stomach distress to de-colour one's world.

But -- aren't people grand! Your sightings are anthropological gold. Thanks for the images.

7:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lucky you -- to be in the thick of it, in NYC. When I visit the city I just people watch, skip the museums. Except the excellent Folk Art Museum which is logical I guess, considering my penchant.

7:57 AM  
Blogger JMW said...

"De-colour" is a good word for it. And I am lucky to be in the thick of it, thanks for reminding me. Though I still haven't made it to the Folk Art Museum, despite the fact that I worked right next to it for years. Shameful.

10:22 PM  

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