Here’s to the bums with their backs against the windowless brick wall of the ConEd plant, who asked for a quarter and assured me that it wouldn’t rain tonight. You don’t need your umbrella.

Here’s to the hunched old man who took the socially inappropriate seat on the bench next to me when other benches were empty, and waited five minutes before he asked what I thought the outdoor air temperature was right then. Were you sitting in the park in the heat of the day?

Here’s to the drummer I never saw, to the saxophonist playing to empty benches, to the families who brought their children outside in the thick summer air to picnic on a blanket on the paving stones in the dark. And here’s to the runaways asleep on the grass, soft-bodied in the grass, soft in their grubby asexual black jean cut-offs. To the blond dewy girls leaning arched against the metal bars of sidewalk scaffolds, saying beep-beep from the sidewalk as men passed. Beep-beep.


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