Monday, July 16, 2012

The Ballad of Jesus Christmas

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“Jesus Christmas. I hate this.” Bent double, rubbing his forehead, lumpy hand-rolled cigarette spraying ashes into my lap while he dances at the edge of blasphemy. “I hate this. I really do.”

I can’t tell if he wants to talk, but there are plenty of empty spots in Christopher Park that aren’t right next to me. It’s a tiny splinter in the West Village, surrounded by a nonsensical tangle of streets (West 4th intersects West 10th; Stonewall Place is also Christopher Street; segments of Waverly Place both hit the park and pass it by).

Last time I sat here to read, a man paced the park, crossing the bulk of it in fifteen steps, screaming into his cellphone. “You know when I got suspicious? When you said you were tired. You go out and spend my money, my money, then you’re too tired to see me. My money.”

At one point the connection died—“Hello? Hello, baby?”—and his timbre warmed, became almost concerned. The signal returned: “My money. You lying—

Life out in the open.