Saturday, February 26, 2011
The Phone Zone
From my perch at the bar where I now work, I have an almost unobstructed view of 44th St. @ 9th Ave. And, almost every shift I work, through the floor to ceiling windows, I am treated with a free show.
Yesterday was no exception. The double phone stand (I'd write "booth" but the phones aren't enclosed) directly across from my bar top has so much action going on, and, seemingly, none of it phone-related. At around 4.30, a man in his 60s with white hair and casual clothes, stopped at the phone stand, and, making a show of rummaging through his front pockets for change, made a motion toward picking up the phone receiver. After quickly looking over both his left and right shoulders he then took out a lighter and lit up some sort of pipe. His back was mostly to me, so I could only imagine his drug of choice. He took two or three successive hits before putting the drug accouterments back into his backpack and going on his merry way. I came out from behind the bar, so that I could have a better look at the guy. And, strangely, he never blew any smoke out of his mouth as he scooted on down the street. Weird. Was he not smoking pot? Maybe crackheads don't exhale.
A couple of weeks ago, at about the same time of day, (don't these fools want to wait until cover of night?) some well-to-do, banker-looking dude decided that he just couldn't wait until the next bar/going home/what-not until urinating. The phone stand became his personal urinal. I don't know why, but I was more offended by the pisser than the smoker, and, instead of just gawking, I threw a pen at the glass directly behind him as he relieved himself. He turned around to see a wall of glass and the entire (there were very few of us) restaurant staff studiously contemplating the ceiling tiles.