Apart from being a moment of true, embarrassing old-fuckitude, I'm not quite sure in what venue where this wonderful story would fit -- apart from the old Playboy Party Jokes page -- except it's true. Maybe the Times NYC Diary, but then again no.I boarded a downtown R train at Lexington Avenue and 60th Street and sat down in the last car to watch Rachel Maddow on my iPod. I put my huge back pack on the seat next to me, enjoying the illusion that it was somehow cleaner than the floor.At 57th Street however, the crowd started to build, and this being a new train, and the seats being fewer, I put my bag on the floor. Across from me, a Muslim woman about 22 sat down. Fully wrapped, but for her intoxicatingly beautiful face (I'm a sucker for Persian eyes), she had a brown and white head-thingie, a blouse I can't remember and a flowing, silken, full length blue and black dress.As we continued downtown I found myself wondering if she was getting off at City Hall Station -- my destination. Park Place where the Cordoba Center is to be and the WTC are just upstairs. With all the publicity about the Cordoba (now Park51) center downtown, the fact that an old Arab Muslim community (and mosque) has been downtown for ages made my speculation make sense. I kind of felt sorry for her. With all the vitriol and rage directed against them this summer, Muslim women in NYC must feel naked despite their conservative dress. Frankly I don't get the cover up, and find it not the least bit modest. In fact, I find it oddly provocative. Especially with a woman as beautiful as the one sitting across from me -- dirty old atheist that I am. And she had that whole Cleopatra eyes thing going on. Woo. Did I mention that?Well sure enough, as I prepared to get off at City Hall, so did she. I hoisted my backpack over my shoulders and stood at the door. My iPod still going. As I stepped off the train, I felt a light tapping on my shoulder...It was that woman. I thought she was going to ask me directions. I took out my earbud, and she hers, and she gently put her hand on my shoulder, leaned close enough for me to smell her perfume and feel her breath, and she whispered in my ear, in that exotic Middle Eastern accent the women on "24" use -- "Your zipper is open."She laughed quietly after patting me on the back, royally I would even say, and went on her way smiling while I sputtered thanks and damn near broke my zipper pulling it up in spasm of sheer terror.AHA!Take THAT Tea Party. Open Fly Diplomacy! Bill Clinton would approve!
Thursday, August 5, 2010
An Encounter at Ground Zero
A friend of mine who lives in New York City sent me this email, which is such a great story and so well written I just had to post it: