Saturday, May 15, 2010


Why now? It’s endemic. Shit happens. You can’t know the world from this apartment. Hell, you can’t even know the neighborhood without leaving 4E.
A death occurs in this city like what? Every twelve minutes? The records of people being born seem to be kept more casually, but to be sure, someone, somewhere, is recording one or the other, or both, assiduously.
There used to be a specialty shoe store on the northwest corner and the man running it also sold shoehorns, polish, socks, and shoelaces in a variety of colors. It’s been replaced by a number of different ventures. Currently, it’s an operation run by two enterprising women who sell coffee and cupcakes, which they bake in the back. They sell bite-sized cupcakes for a dollar apiece. Who’s got that kind of money? Every day you look over there, you see a line of people snaking around the corner waiting for them to open.
An organ-grinder, a real old-timer, has taken to hanging out there with his monkey. If each person in line plops down a tenner for a handful of cakes and a coffee, they’re more than likely to toss their little bit of change in his cup.
While the women set up shop each morning, instrumental versions of Beatles songs are piped out. Their music is turned off when the tiny cakes are ready, and the old guy grinds out some unknown melody, but only for a little while. Then, after the music stops, perversely, the monkey begins to dance and play with the man’s red shoelace.
Why now? Hell, what better time?

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