Sunday, October 30, 2005

Kindness Has Bad Taste, Too

I'm really enjoying the new neigborhood. New York's West Village, an infinitely better place to people-watch and enjoy the entropy of human goings-about.

About 20 minutes ago I was standing outside the gourmet coffee shop underneath my apartment when a long-involved couple in their early 30s starting walking towards me. The instant they passed the leather store adjacent to the coffee shop, the girl stopped dead in her tracks and tugged at her beau's clasped hand. She stopped, suddenly, and exclaimed "We must get that for Katherine!" in a similar manner to Ace Ventura jumping up and inquiring about the identity of Ray Finkel in the Super Bowl team photo hanging in Courtney Cox's office.

Now I obviously don't know Katherine. I don't know anything about Katherine's relationship to the ambling couple nor whether the girl is somehow indebted to this woman. I don't even really know if Katherine spells her name with a C or a K (nor whether she has a husband that sometimes spells Jerry with a G...and an I).

But somehow, I was completely blown away by this girl's unbelievably kind instincts. She caught a fleeting glance of a store window and instantenously thought of her friend/sister/aunt Katherine, and in the same moment of realization attached buying a nice gift for this person. The couple moved closer to the window -- noses nearly pressed against the glass -- and pointed at one particular item out of my sight. "We must get that for Katherine," the girl repeated.

I felt warm inside, touched by the girl's spirit of giving and thoughtfulness. I began formulating these feelings into a story for this here rag, dreaming of the flowery adjectives I'd use to describe this episode that renewed my faith in friendship and overall existence.

Then two things happened. First, the couple retreated from the glass and starting walking past me, east on Bleecker. As they passed, the girl leaned into her beau and said solemnly, "That is, if it's not too expensive." I laughed at that.

And after the couple sauntered out of my line of sight, I went over the window to see exactly what they were pointing at. When they were standing there I couldn't see what they were interested in at the time, but based on where they were gesturing and staring, it only could have been one or two objects.

In a glass showcase filled with leather fedoras and assorted hats, leather sandals and stringed footwear, business and beach satchels, wallets, fancy gloves and other cowhide sundries, they thought of Katherine after seeing two of the weirdest items for sale in the display.

One was a leather hat that may or may not have been an actual game helmet worn by Hall of Fame quarterback-punter Sammy Baugh. The other: a piece of headgear that was essentially a wig, but in place of fake hair was a stuffed wolf's head. It looked like a mean wolf, too, fangs exposed and all.

Again, I don't know Katherine, but now I'm not sure what I think of her taste in accessories. And I don't know what I think about the couple's kind gesture either. That story certainly turned out very differently from how I thought it would have unfolded.

Another night in the Village.


At 9:28 AM, Blogger Matty Mac said...

Speaking about herself in the third person, maybe? Like Ricky Henderson, only for weird leather items rather than baseball. I mean, if she is in the frame of mind in thinking that a leather football helmet from the 50's or wolf's head with a leather carrying case is a "nice" gift, then I wouldn't put it past her to speak about herself in the third person.

At 9:34 AM, Blogger Ace Cowboy said...

George likes his chicken spicy.

Good point, Matty.

At 10:10 AM, Blogger ethan said...

or, since you're in the village, "katherine" could've been a 6'4" man with a beard. seems like that katherine would like a y.a. tittle helmet or a t-wolves face mask.

At 12:31 PM, Blogger Ace Cowboy said...

Actually, it's funny you say that, I almost clarified that it was a heterosexual couple walking past me on first mention.

There are gonna be a shit-ton of 6'4 dudes named Katherine tonight at the Halloween Parade outside my apartment tonight. Gotta love NYC.

At 12:52 PM, Blogger ethan said...

that parade is prime for people watching. i bet it will be awesome. grab a coupla of forties, sit on your porch, and enjoy the show.


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