Monday, November 9, 2009

Funny Things Heard in Central Park


Every morning, I stretch my limbs and take a nice stroll in the park. The number one reason for moving into our current abode has to do with the 843 acres right across the street. I love the fact that I can walk out the door and see green, not the green of Wall Street moolah, the the actual shrubbery, trees, foliage that exists abundantly in most other places.

There are definite crowds that mill around the park. There are the nannies (which I've mentioned here, here, and here), runners, tourists, lovers, born-and-bred NYers complete with accent, children, athletes, you name it, they all frequent the park at some point. I feel as though I could blog about each one of these groups on separate occasions, but one aspect links them all together; the incredibly bizarre things I hear.

During my daily walk, I always here the most unusual snippets of conversations. I am not one of those crazy skilled runners, the ones who tote four mini water bottles strapped onto their hip, or squeeze gel food into their mouths. I am the very casual walker who listens to music, not to pump up my energy, but to calm me down, to allow me to unwind from the day's chaos. I walk leisurely, with every bone in my body. Since just about everyone passes me, I cannot help but pick up on their dialogue. Sometimes, it's mild, 'Oh, did Janice tell you about the party?', or 'Billy thought he got an A. Wrong!' Other times, it's downright absurd or hilarious. It's most likely because it's taken out of context, but sometimes, I can't imagine how the word would make sense in any context. Here are a few examples that stand out;

'Get through that fucking hole! See it! Go!Go!Go!' (one bicyclist to another)
'Mom, you said I could pet the squirrel this time!!!' (a teenager to his mother, both tourists)
'I need to go back. He made my fucking breasts lopsided,' (One plastic woman says to another)
'Was that Elizabeth Hasselback?' (A woman says to her friend)...'You mean Hasselbitch? Yeah it is!' the friend replies. (The View host was actually there, strolling her newborn son.)

At other times, the conversation that gets injected into my daily walk seems too intimate, too vulnerable;
'So you gonna leave him? You should, you know. You can't keep letting him get away with that....Shit. Sleeping with other guys is not okay,' (a friend telling the woman to leave her closeted gay husband)

The thing I love about New York is that one any given day, there are crazy uninhibited personalities, conversations, dialogues, moments that filter through my life. Going for a simple walk across the street turns into a voyage into people's psyches; their insecurities, fears, and triumphs.

I always listen to music on these walks, even with the drone of conversation and occasional punctuated comments inbetween, so there is not much chance for someone to hear my thoughts, but oh....if they could listen to my head.

The thought of all the conversations with other people and the ones we carry out in our heads, all contributing to a symphony of voices, curses, laughter, and whispers makes me realize how lucky I am to be a part of it all.

1 comment:

chad said...

Aahhh, New York, where you can actually see life going on around you, and enjoy the occasional piece of unguarded and unfiltered drama trickling in your ears and assuaging your innate sense of voyeurism. I recently moved back to this lovely jungle of confusion, this showcase of the human condition, and I feel a happy little tingle in my chest whenever I see a couple fighting on the subway or a too drunk twenty-something making a mess of themselves in the village on a Saturday night. It's not because I'm sadistic. It's because I can relate.

I was two-years in suburbia, and I wondered where the people were. I saw plenty of tail-pipes, free parking and picturesque families, but I never got to see the masks fall. It's a great thing to have a nice car and a landscaped backyard, except you will likely spend too much time in them. I'll take public transportation and parks anytime; the view is better and the birds that I like to watch have worries, desires and conflicting motivations. Thanks, NY, with you I really don't need a TV.