I had it in my itinerary to visit the area where Nikola Tesla and his justified paranoia called home. Or at least somewhere around there. I was looking forward to visiting Manhattan’s biggest library and updating my journal. Bryant Park is a nice looking place with a myriad of activities all year round. I took a picture of Nikola Tesla corner and went to make my way into the park by what seemed to be a side entrance.
A middle -aged African American and his friend were chatting drinking what seemed to be a smoothie, something that really didn’t suit people of their generation. Luther started chatting me up and asked me to play chess with him for 5 bucks a game. He said he usually played for 20, but he’d give me the tourist-on -a-Tuesday -morning discount. I felt bad not accepting, so I did. Luther was from the Bronx and said he made it down to Manhattan every day to spend the morning and play some chess. He eventually beat me but took back many moves and pointed out mistakes along the way. I balked at another game and his friend told me to give another 5 for the lesson. “Don’tlisten to Ross, ” Luther said, “he’s a hustler. Keep your money and go spend it on a sandwich for a sexy Latina. You’re Latino, right?”
“No, and I prefer black, ”
“No, you don’t. Why do you think I’m down here every morning? ”
They laughed. They joked about the endless chores their black women gave them. “Take care, my boy, ” Luther said. He waved and I was on my way.
I went to Le Pain Quotidien and had a nice cucumber soup with a sandwich and ginger ale.
People were reading almost nude while others were taking a walk with colleagues eating an organic hot dog. They seemed to feel they were doing something smart. I was thinking that a hot dog is still crap, organic or not. It was almost noon and the crowd was getting bigger. I started logging a journal entry when a university girl asked if she can sit with me. There were plenty of empty seats still, but I said it was OK. She said her sorority friends had dared her to find someone older to kiss on the lips and she figured I wasn’t that old and looked clean. I refused to participate. I felt used.
“I’m gonna kiss someone. Why not you?”
“It’s not embarrassing enough. They want you to be embarrassed. Are you? ”
“No. I don’t wanna be embarrassed. ” She was very good looking. She said she was from Nebraska.
“Ok then, ” I said, “but there needs to be serious tongue action for 5 seconds. ”
She agreed. There was serious action for a few minutes. I went for the grab and she let it be up to a certain point. She stopped and touched my bulge for a brief second. The dare was to get me excited. People watched and slowly turned away.
Believe it or not, no pictures in the library.
Orellia came over, said she hopes that I wasn’t offended. She invited me to a comedy club just the 2 of us somewhere in Greenwich Village that night.
It was shaping up to be a nice full day in Manhattan.