Friday, March 30, 2012

I had just reached the bus stop on 42nd Street and Bryant Park when a cacophonous throng of high school kids marched by. Then there seemed to be two groups—the first headed east, the other west. Maybe a larger group had just divided. They were laughing, jostling each other, gossiping without restraint—it was a parade of raw, exuberant youth; beautiful, unself-aware. I peered at them, trying to understand where they came from and where they might be going.

A thick-set man in his late forties paced jerkily at the stop. His patchy, long, blond curls were matted to the side of his head. He wore a multicolored leather jacket.

“Pack a fuckin’ assholes!” he shouted.

The boys and girls continued to stream by, oblivious. The man turned on his heels and stomped around by the curb, looking over his shoulder.

“That’s a pack a fuckin’ assholes!”