In Spain they pronounce that "keekee" or like a girl from southern california's name: Kiki. And it's totally sexual--the Spanish use of the word, not the girl from ventura.
There really is a girl from ventura named kiki, who wound up working as a secretary for an eighty something year old man with monogrammed shirts whose last name is Lord and is going through a divorce because he has the hots for and gives jobs immediately to girls like Kiki from ventura, but that's not our mission today. That's part of a saga that has not ended about Sterling Lord the founder of literary agency and new york city and how dreams really do come true, Mickey.
Anyway, I'm not actually listening to that album down there, or to Dylan at all, but SAW the new Dylan flick, or sort of Bob Dylan flick, with seven actors including Cate Blanchett and a little black dude named Marcus Carl Franklin, I'm not There. Holy golly what a great movie.
Olivia and I are on our way home from it. It's about ten to ten (at night; i pity the fool that sees matinees before noon!), on the 2 train, which is nice and new and shiny and flourescently lit with light blue bench seats and gleaming poles, as always. Except it's real crowded all on one end of the car. I offer Olivia a seat, graciously, valiantly, at the empty end, where there's plenty of room. Then my gallant actions fizzle in the sour tang smell of urine as I see the reason for the imbalanced exodus: homeless guy peed himself! Ewwww. He's all slumped over and actually looks pretty good for a homeless: timberlands, baggy pants. He might just be plowed and out of the range of prehensile bowel control. Whatever--it's stank in there.
So we huddle up like the rest of the poor suckers--and this is an odd phenomenon I have to describe before I move on to the story: the knowing/sympathetic/kind of looks like you just locked in the same cell expression on a group of subway riders' faces when you walk in to a common discomfort like this nastiness. People feel sort of bad for you, because you ain't gonna be used to it, but there's a limit, like tell me about it, to the empathy, and it has this weird feeling beside it because it's all so silent and bright and shiny and new in there. Strange days. It happened last in a three train car that was all empty. I got on with two other folks, felt the blast of heat, looked over at the one guy i didn't notice in the corner, and he just shook his head with that look on his face just like I just saw in about fifteen people a couple hours ago.
Anyway, to the point: on the not so smelly end, people all bundle up into their scarves or sweaters or jacket collars, I see a couple get on at Bergen St. There's two seats on the good end from people just leaving, but they're not adjacent; just this one guy sitting between them. And he kind of ducks his head down--he's middle-aged, black, worker bee looking fella with a beat up old coat on--and slides over. The couple--much younger, white, carrying scattered incongruous groceries, shit like a twelve pack of miller, altoids, a pint of raspberries, and some shaving cream--this couple is beaming, so thankful, and next think I see them pull this wooden crate out--
And here I rewind instantly to walking up court street after the movie to the train station, hearing Olivia talk about, "You should get some Clementines next time you're at the grocery store." And me thinking, that's right, it's almost December, it is about that time--
And there they are: the wooden box, the mesh red netting, the whole bit. Probably cost em eight dollars by itself. And they hand one to a kid with crazy hair and black high top reeboks on, a silent bob black trenchcoat on and headphones. He looks at it suspicious like he doesn't know it's something to eat, but he takes it. The couple offers the samaritan who gave up his seat one too but he shakes his head, looks down at the ground.
And that kid standing up in the reeboks, he gets off at President St., just ahead of me and Olivia. And I see on the escalator behind his high hair that he's cupping the orange peels. He's eaten it and they peels, bright orange, those peels that perfumed that end of the sournasty car all nice, sitting there in his hands which are held up like an offering. He looks a little nervous about not littering, about still holding the peels, and when we get up the stairs that take us above ground I see him going around the corner, but not before he has balanced the peels on top of a mound of trash in the green wirerims they have on the corners here. Then he races off down Nostrand Avenue.
"Good job, guy," Olivia says, after I tell her everything.