August 15, 2003

Dr. Martha and her sister Maria

....even during the worst blackout ever, I find myself in the center of a valcentric universe......

So.......where was I when everything went dark? I was home.

I hooked up with my neighbors for some initial info and then headed over to Athens Park, where even the statue of Socrates was sweating.

I spent several hours there, talking to two Filipina sisters. One is a retired, OB/GYN, Martha, recovering from breast cancer. Also, because of her carpal tunnel syndrome, she can no longer catch the babies, which is another reason she had to retire. Isn't that kind of sad? Her sister Maria is a nurse. The dr and I talked for quite some time becaues my sister-in-law is pregnant and she was so friendly and how often do you get an opportunity like that.

Did you know that layer of fat on the baby when it first comes out is called the Vernix?

So I'm speaking with Dr. Martha and her sister Maria is listening, a little shy but very sweet, and we're getting a good chat on because my best friend growing up was Filipino and with my pregnant in-law we had a lot to discuss. We discussed Filipino cuisine, like Dinuguan and Balut and if you don't know what either of those are, I really don't want to be the one to explain it to you. And she was telling me about her work, and her illness, and about babies..... it was decent......

(for this next part, please excuse the mixed tenses)

And then Enrico sat down. Enrico is this kind of creepy older guy, with a really thick Ecuadorian accent, a reverse lisp and some kind of affectation from possibly a stroke or a facial palsy of some kind.....Either way, he was really, really, hard to understand.......He kept touching his face and saying "yor coot"....."yor coot". Martha figured out that he was giving me a compliment. (naturally the cute guy sitting next to me reading the paper wasn't giving me the time of day but I know the son of a bitch was listening to every word because he wasn't going anywhere and the NY POST is just not that interesting.) So I thank Enrico for the compliment and he starts telling us that he is a painter, an artist and that I'm beautiful. (and he had eyes and everything.)

So I tell him that I draw here and there, and pull out my little drawing book. He looks at my goofy little clown and flower pictures and he opens up to a clean page, he asks for a pencil and I figure, wow, I'm gonna' get a portrait. So he looks at me, he scribbles in the book, looks at me, scribbles in the book, looks at me, scribbles in the book. He gets this satisfied look on his face, like he just captured my very soul on a piece of paper. He gives it back to me and would you like to know what was on that piece of paper, ladies and gentlemen? A picture of stacked boxes. He was so pleased with himself at this point, like your cat bringing you a bird it just killed, and I slowly started realizing, this guy is out of his mind. And he's getting a little defensive because I'm not really listening to him and trying to continue my conversation with Martha.....So I excuse myself. I wish the sisters the best of luck and go to say goodbye to him and he pulls me towards him and kisses me French style, meaning once on each cheek, as if he'd known me all his life.

He is not the first nut job or older man I've met that finds me attractive. In fact, I seem to be some kind of pied piper for the old and/or crazy.

I think the crazy ones think I have a friendly face and the older ones. Gosh, I think I remind them of those SIZE 18 beauty queens from the early 20th Century, 1910 - 1938, or their first girlfriends, or some hooker they went with in Reno in the 50's..... Yeah, and when I say older, I mean much, much, much older.......

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