10 October 2012


Visiting a sleepy nook renowned for Sri Lankan fare, only to find it closed. Walk in vain for twenty minutes in search of another SR restaurant. Decamp to dumpy seafood bar (replete with clashing bouts from fervent singers-along to Brian Adams and heavy metal), only to retreat in the face of overpriced seafood for such a humble establishment. Consider an Italian restaurant with beer and pizza before my friend declares that Domino's is what he's after. 10 minute wait, no seats – a beer for the ferry? To the bodega, then across the street to wait for the pizza to be warmed over.

Accosted from another bench by a man ominously wonders, among other things, “Who said, 'Houston, we have a problem?'” He refused the answer of Tom Hanks. A trio of pollis arrive, muttering about open containers and quotas. They proceed to bash their borough, while echoing the siren song that calls them to Florida and strip mall/divided highway heaven. Forty-five minutes later, two pink slips (which Romney feared) each, although mine is gone before we return to the terminal with our pizza.

Three months hence, a return to the once bucolic isle. Name is posted, written incorrectly. Sit in a room with a dozen other men; a couple have female support, otherwise no women in evidence. An encapsulation of the statistic that women outlive men? The sentries laugh amongst themselves while discussing football. Muttering from my neighbours about quotas - “bullshit, man.”

What's your last name? What? Wrong first name – no that's okay. And you? You're not on here. Open container. Go downstairs [to the clerk]. Back later: he doesn't have my name. Then you can go.

Some thirty minutes later a woman arrives laughing, positively giddy. Joins the sentries' conversation, adding details of her impending trip (Spain, and a Meditteranean isle? Not Mallorca or Minorca...). Another few minutes later the pageantry begins. Will the giddiness hold?

First, a late 20s young man in a shiny grey suit jacket. Using a student subway card he found. Did he know it wasn't his to use? Well, he rides the subway a lot, sheepishly...ECD.

Next, reckless driving/blowing a red light. Well, I was down by ___, you know it? Okay, and I turned in the wrong place and had to come out. I'm sorry if I'm nervous. There wasn't no red light there because the traffic would have been impossible to turn into. I realise I made a mistake. It's hard to get out of there – you know that street? He said I didn't signal my turn but you know that street? – there's four lanes on each side. But I didn't go through a red light. Maybe when I turned I went across. See I'm a steelworker. I usually look for cranes. He told me that I didn't have my license so he had to write that I went through a red light. Mild confusion followed by an ECD.

Open container. Through intermediary: we were walking home. But you had one? We were just walking home. But you can't carry one...ECD.

Excessive noise. What were you doing? I came to pick up my friend. He told me to pull around in front of him but then he told me to pull over. He told me he was giving me a ticket because he didn't like the song. I don't think I would have liked the song either – what was the song? I don't remember. ECD.

Off-street cycling. You can only walk there. The road was narrow and busy. Then you get off and walk. ECD. Imagined vocation – fast food delivery.

Invalid license. My license was valid – it was a mistake. Do you have it with you? No. Bring it back – see you in November. Vindication pending.

A barrister, no defendant. Can we reschedule? How about October 2? No, [mean] judge So-and-So will be there. How about the 4th? - I'll be back. See you then.

Open container, ignoring signs. A dual performance, the first that morning. Did you drink in the park? 1 – Yes. 2 - ...Yes. You agree with that answer? It's honesty day today! This is a misdemeanor you know? They all close at night. Even if you don't see a sign just don't go in. ECD. A performance stymied, a platform wasted. Justice served, yet denied.

An old clich̩, returning to the scene albeit with tea/coffee. A neighbour's Cobra fell to the ground, frothing, its spilling contents met with profanity. Did he read the sign? It's the end of the month Рquotas are coming due...Another asked if we were related Рperhaps owing to glasses and dress shirts and trousers (the latter two being abjectly absent in the park).

Three months later, Sri Lankan was served.

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