So Saturday Megan and I had just finished wandering through the Central Park Zoo
and were sitting on a park bench elsewhere in Central Park
, gathering some energy for further adventures. We had bought something to drink from a vendor and had pulled out our books, prepared to enjoy the sunshine and the day. (see post below for pictures
I had just purchased this book
at The Strand
and was just digging into it when a family sat down on the bench next to us. The mother was what I, rightly or wrongly, think of as a typical New York mother: fast-talking, fashionably dressed, with fashionably dressed children orbiting at various distances around her while she tries to figure out a way to talk with both hands while holding a cell phone to her ear. Her little girl of about 4 was ping-ponging from one park bench to another, her curly hair and Kitson
shirt no doubt charming the entire park. . .except for me. Me, I was wary.
She paraded too closely by once or twice, and on about her fourth orbit she looked me straight in the eye for a full second and then smacked her grimy little palm down on the book I was reading and walked away.
Megan immediately started laughing. I suppose it was funny in a sense, but I certainly wasn't finding it so at the moment. In my heart of hearts, I wanted to dump my blue Gatorade on her curly blonde head. I wanted to see her little butt hit concrete. (Hence the title of my post.) I did not ask her to come into my world, I did not even smile and make much of her, which I can imagine for some kids can get to be too much. I was simply reading a book on a bench that happened to be attached to where her family decided to sit.
Her mother was, of course, on the phone. Her father said something like "Britainnia, that's not nice." And in between trying to make or cancel a reservation for some hot-spot her mother said "Britainnia darling, that's obnoxious and rude...NO I SAID WE COULD NOT
MAKE IT THERE BY FIVE, I DON'T CARE WHO YOU HAVE TO BUMP...how would you like it if someone hit you...YES, WELL THEY'LL JUST HAVE TO WAIT A LITTLE LONGER. We're leaving."
I received no apology, not even a half-hearted, I'm-sorry-I-really-have-no-idea
I just sat and stared at my book until they were gone.