I watched him struggle to light a match. His hands were shivering. Maybe it was the cold. Or maybe it was the drink. His face was worn and leathery. The wrinkles and fold told a story of street life or maybe just the harshness of his reality. He exhaled into the winter air and rejoiced in a simple moment of solitude.
I realized that I’ve become quite the coffee snob lately. The coffee at the office just doesn’t do it for me anymore. It was only a few years ago that office coffee meant going to the gas station next door for a cup of mud. And now I’m in a fancy office with fancy coffee and still it’s not enough! What’s wrong with me?!?! Today’s stop.. JOE in Grand Central Station. I gotta get my fix and apparently I’m not the only one.
Damn it’s cold outside! Why do I live on the East Coast again? My brother just sent me a picture of him sitting pretty on Venice Beach in SoCal. I think he even had a drink with an umbrella in it…just rubbing it in! Here…it’s cold. I can barely walk around taking photos. Most mornings I just rush to the subway to get underground and away from the elements. Today…I made a brief .5 second stop to look up at the trees.
I was going to write about perception and fear. I was going to write about danger and threats. It was going to be a story that I made up. But now I can’t. About 45 minutes after I took this photo something terrible happened in my new neighborhood at the very train station that I take every day. Two cops were killed. A random act of violence. They sat unassuming in their car and a man determined to kill took their lives. Shots to the head. I was just there less than an hour before. What the hell is wrong with people. Why take someones life! What about their families?!?! What did they do to you! Just when we are all complaining about how police treat people…we are reminded just how dangerous the job is.
I have to admit, I’m a bit of a scrooge during this time of year. I can’t stand the countless shoppers and tourist running around the city carrying bag upon bag of randomness that some stupid add told them to buy. They laugh and smile and walk around looking at the tall buildings and store windows filled to the brim with the latest greatest things. Life always seems so perfect during the holidays….but I know this world can be cruel and someone of us are never smiling….not today…despite the holidays.
So…I’m trying to grow a beard….(emphasis on trying). It’s been over a month since I’ve shaved and for whatever reason my beard is kinda growing out instead of down. I live in Brooklyn and all hipsters seem to have beards. I’m talking about full thick beards that would make ZZ Top and Abraham Lincoln jealous. And…I envy them! Hell.. I envy just about everyone who can grow a beard! We’ll see how long I keep this beard project going. Wish me luck!