Cheap Like Your Mom

Eclectic. I think that pretty much describes it. Yep. Eclectic.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

A Very Special Construction Site.

From the moment you get out of the cab, you know that there is something special here. Humans do have a sixth sense, and I think that it's sympathy. The ability to feel the joy or sorrow of others. There is too much sorrow here, and it strikes you like a wall of pungent odor, like entering a Bath and Body Works of mourning. Everyone was staring intensely, though there wasn't much to see beyond the large, chain link fence; just some cones, Caterpillars, that orange plastic netting made up as fencing. As I momentarily broke my gaze, I noticed a sign above me that instructed people not to donate money to beggars, so that they won't have incentive to come and sully this sacred place. And in fact, whether out of reverence, or pragmatism, there were no beggars here. However the same sign declared that street performing here was strictly forbidden as well, since it was important to maintain this place's atmosphere. I felt, quite to the contrary, that the old homeless man sitting a few feet away playing a shaky rendition of "Amazing Grace" on an old, beat up flute is what pushed the trip past everyday tourism into what felt like a pilgrimage. His slow notes were soulful, if not all correct, and they formed a song that sounded like it had been lifted directly from a scene in a movie where they pan across the aftermath of a fresh battle, attempting to drive home the fact that you are looking at dead people, people who had friends and families that will never see them again. Let's just say that as I listened to his song, and read a few names off of the Vietnam War style "Wall" posted in foam core on the chain link fence, I was glad to have my sunglasses on. Poker face, indeed. And as soon as this thought bubbled to the surface of my mind, it struck me. Everyone had sunglasses on. Or at least all the guys did. Even indoors, in the adjacent subway, where you can see the same construction site from a different angle, all the guys had their shades on, pretending that they were too manly to be affected emotionally by the only place in New York where you might actually feel comfortable hugging a stranger: Ground Zero.


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