Thursday, March 6, 2008

Love em and leave em

Just some random observations. Don't bother reading if you don't know me, or even if you do. I'm just trying to get these down on paper. Virtual paper. Whatever.

Okay. Let me say for the record: I love old people. Older people. Oldsters, elders, seniors -- whatever they want to be called and I'll be one of them soon enough so I'll be working on that nomenclature. But why, oh, why have I been subjected so often, recently, to the "love 'em and leave 'em" scenario inflicted on me... by... them?

Case in point. Sunday evening. Walking home from MOMA (yes, I know, it's kinda far). Somewhere in the Village I feel a small hand on my arm. Small, light and weak. I look down. A smallish older woman looks up at me and asks if I can help her cross the street. She looked nimble enough but explained that she hated when turning traffic came at her. Hey sister, I hear that, lemme tell ya. I took her arm and we set off, arm and arm, not only across that street but six more (she was heading to take in a flick at the IFC on Sixth and Third).

We managed in that short period of time to discuss film careers (my stupidly short one and her rather longer one -- -- writer, actress and wife of a producer). We had both gone to NYU (she long before Tisch is where it is, obviously, both geographically and otherwise). We both grew up in Maine (what are the chances??!!).

Anyway, we had tons in common. We laughed, she hooted, she clenched my arm, we smiled at each other; we bonded. I had to walk really, really slowly, which is not my favorite thing to do.What a great New York moment, what an interesting new friend.

When we reached the IFC there was a long line. Actually, two long lines. Before I could say "So..." she stopped, let go of my arm, nestled her way into a group of what could have been current NYU film students, young German tourists or Village drug dealers (to me they all look the same) and yelled "Is this the ticket or the ticket-holders line?" I tried for a nano-second to try to help her discern this, but she wasn't looking at me anymore. I waved, awkwardly and said goodbye and... that was it.

This heartbreaking scenario has played out a little too often for me. Hey, I'm not looking for new friends. I can barely keep in touch with the old ones and Facebook isn't helping. But, jesus, you old fogies, if you're going to pour out your heart and history and elicit some of mine, for god's sake say goodbye, nice talking to you. I know... I know... I'm being too harsh but next time one of you wants to cross the street, just do it and be done with it.

And me.


Sears said...

Maybe you just scared the old lady and she was seeking refuge? Just a thought

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