Came into the city today for the spec fic fair. Turns out it was cancelled. Hey, you know what would’ve been totally awesome? If someone had announced that somewhere, before I spent two hours getting there. Fortunately, someone I know showed up, having also not gotten the nonexistent cancellation announcement, so we sat and chatted for a few hours. So it wasn’t a total waste of time.
Afterward, I browsed Barnes & Noble at 22nd & 6th Ave, which gets my Official Seal of Approval as a Quality Establishment, as it carried not one but two copies of the All the Rage This Year anthology (which contains my short story “Veil of Ignorance”).
The weather was nice, so I decided to stroll back to Grand Central. Passing through Madison Square Park, I happened to spot a fat man wearing only very skimpy blue underpants. No sooner had it occurred to me that this was somewhat odd than a pair of park police pulled up in a cart and attempted to restrain him. The guy never looked at or responded verbally to either of them, which gave you the distinct impression that he was either mentally disturbed or else had just taken some of those drugs that let you do a really good job of faking it. One of the cops kept trying to grab his arm, but underpants man just kept pulling loose and continued walking. I paused, in order to spectate the (at that point, seemingly inevitable) moment when underpants man would be wrestled to the pavement and handcuffed.
But that’s not what happened. Underpants man wandered out of the park and across the street, at which point the park guards shrugged and drove off. Apparently across the street is out of their jurisdiction, or else they figured they’re just not being paid enough to wrestle down fat drugged-out mostly-naked guys. Underpants man paused in front of a bank and spent a few minutes staring at his reflection and fussing with his hair. Then he wandered into the bank. (Was he applying for a loan? Maybe that’s why he was so concerned about his hair.) But the bank employees politely encouraged him to leave again.
Next, underpants man descended into the subway. I couldn’t imagine he had a metro card on him, so I figured he’d pop up again soon. When he didn’t, my curiosity got the best of me, and I followed him down into the subway, but he was gone. I figured he must have gone through the turnstile, but I didn’t care enough to waste the last two bucks on my metro card to find out. So I guess he did have a metro card after all. (I don’t even want to think about where he had it.)