Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Loving the Alien



Today on the subway an old man with really cool vintage glasses like Elvis Costello's in the seventies and a homeless-style knit hat was shuffling up to each and every person, screwing his face up into theirs, and asking them, person to person, if he could have some of their money. He wasn't giving the song and dance at all. His method was direct and suprisingly effective. I wish I could do that. I can't even ask a waiter for my check.
Another subway guy gained my respect last Friday.
I was hunched over and scribbling away on my spiral notebook doing my best at my own song and dance/sob story. There's a do-goody foundation in Colorado that will give free studio space in NYC to the 14 artists with the best neediness. At that moment, I felt I was on fire and like I might nail that studio afterall with my well-worded great need. Then a pee-smelling raggedy old man sat next to me. Please don't talk to me, please don't talk to me, please don't talk to me, I noislessly begged him as I curled into myself.
Well he talked to me.
Pee Guy: Are you a student or something?
Me: Um, no.
PG: What you writin' about there?
Me: I'm just scribbling.
PG: Is it January?
Me: Yeah. End of January (scribble, scribble, hunch, hunch.)
PG: Well, it just gets confusing. We usually don't come down until April and it feels like April. And now I don't really know what to do. I'm not sure where to go until April.
Me: It does feel like April.
PG: Your planet is getting very warm. We usually don't come until April.
Me: My planet?
PG: I'm from another planet.
Me: (No longer scribbling, still hunched.) Another planet?
PG: My planet is called, Ah-Ah. We usually don't come down until April and I am really confused. I don't know where to go.

At this point, a guy behind us who was stiff with religious ferver and couldn't contain himself turned around to the alien.

Religious: Brother, you need to turn right now to your Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Only He can help you get through what you're going through. He helped me and he can help you. Turn to him right now. Right NOW!
PG: We don't have Jesus Christ on our planet.
Religious: Brother, I tell you this out of love. You must turn your heart today to Jesus.
PG: Well, I think this is my stop.
Religious: This is my stop too. You can make it out of the place you are in. He can save you too.

The train stopped and the alien hightailed it out with the Jesus Freak full of the spirit and closing in. Right as the doors were sliding closed, the alien slipped back into the train. The subway lurched forward and he made his way back to the seat next to me.

PG: You'll have to pardon me. I had to get rid of that guy.

I wish I were as deft as that alien.

8 Comments:

Blogger BIG Mike said...

Maybe he was from Earth and he just beamed up to N.Y.

6:18 AM  
Blogger dr. fluffy jones said...

I don't know if that interaction was true, or just a James Frey-ian 'recollection," but it was brill! (Not that I'm questioning you, because I'm not--I wish we mortals would experience stranger-than-fiction occurrances more often.) I love new york! In seattle, our crazies are just that much less crazy, unfortunately.

12:26 PM  
Anonymous KeepYerBag said...

During my commuting days on the UTA I had encounters with at least three different mass transit Prophets of God. One showed me his detailed plans to build a ski-jump style launch platform for the space shuttle atop the Jordanelle Dam.

Then there was the young woman who carried a half dozen scrapbooks filled edge to edge with pictures of Donny Osmond that she'd cut out of teen magazines. She'd ogle those scrapbooks like an old man looking at porn.

Never got to sit next to a space alien, though. I guess they're wise enough to stay out of Utah.

1:05 PM  
Anonymous Rocky said...

If you see him again, will you ask him when the ship leaves next? I lost my scheudule.

3:50 PM  
Anonymous Rocky said...

schedule...I meant.

3:51 PM  
Anonymous fatty said...

my super power is to make people like that leave me alone, without ever needing to say a word. all i have to do is give people my "sympathetic disgust" look, and away they go.

2:59 AM  
Blogger newbrooklyner said...

big mike, that's a good one. Well done.

dr., I am here to tell you that the interaction was indeeed true, but I'm not sure the guy was really an alien. If Seattle had better public transportation, the crazies would become more visible.

keepyer, UTA did/does have its own special flavor of religiots (my word, no stealing) doesn't it?
But Donny worship doesn't count. That's solidly founded.

Rocky, you missed the ship. You wouln't wear the white nikes because they made your feet look fat, remember?

11:07 AM  
Blogger newbrooklyner said...

Oh, and fatty, your special, um, power? The one that makes people leave you alone?
Not the look you give.
Not really.

11:10 AM  

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