Thursday, July 8, 2010

Yesterday and Miss Edie

Days on the street: 2
Fans sold: 0
Money made: $3

I'm doing something wrong.

Yesterday I woke up and I went outside and I knew that it was supposed to be legit 8 hot cakes outside but it didn't feel that bad.

and then noon came.

hole. eee. balls.

i decided to try something new: the park. I was there the other week and I was sitting with a bunch of people (who I didn't really know that well) and this old asian man walked by with a cart and they all knew what he was up to and they flagged him down. He lifted the sheet on his box to reveal all of this beer, and all of the people bought cups of beer from him for $5 a pop. and i thought - well if people will by liver poison for 5 bucks a cup, surely they'll by a fan for 5 dollars since it'll last you longer.

so yesterday i headed to the park. but this time i called on my far-more-outgoing-than-myself friend, mr. brian beach. he was to meet me at sheep's meadow at 2:45.

On my way there, I held my fan in my right hand, just as planned. I ditched the shirt. This isn't a fashion company. It's a fan boutique, dammit. The first person I passed as I walked out of my front door:

"Now THAT'S keeping cool" he said, as he used his forearm hair hair to dismiss the classroom full of sweat that had gathered on his forehead.

"You want one?" I stopped in my tracks.


And I put a dash there because this is a weird thing that happens in New York. People, who you are inches away from, start to stop the sound of their words if the other person is a stranger. I do it too. Like if I'm at the gym and someone approaches the same machine I do and they say "were you on here?" - something in my vocal chords shift to go to new york un-invasive stranger mode and i go "no- go- go ahead-" but in almost a baby-is-sleeping and also i-can't-really-commit-to-the-last-sound-of-each-word way. it's weird. i can't explain it. i can only illustrate it with dashes. if you still don't get it, call my cell and i'll do it for you.

"Are you sure? I'm selling them."

"No- no-"

So I walked away.


wasting my time.

On my way to the park, everyone - literally everyone i passed - stared at my fan. No one bought one, but they all stared. I guess, to be fair, I didn't offer anyone a fan to buy, so I can't be upset about that, but I still thought SOMEONE would have asked where I got it.

No matter what, all of the eye interest in my fan was a great omen for sales in the park.

Until there wasn't anyone IN the goddam park.

I found Brian a the entrance to Sheep's Meadow. He was permanently shrugging.

"There's no one here."

(A) We should have picked a weekend. (B) We should have picked a day that wasn't under some sort of health advisory. It was balls fucking hot, people.

There were a few people in the park suntanning. No one told them it was cancer day, I guess.

So I ushered Brian into to park where he approached people while holding a fan and said "You look hot. Want a fan?"

It might have been creepy.

Long story short - no one wanted one.

So we went to go get Gatorade. And we sat on a bench at the food emporium in Lincoln Square and soaked in our sweat in misery.

That was until Miss Edie, a woman who I would have labeled as homeless upon first sight, appeared uncomfortably close to my fan, her eyes locked on the prize.

"Yes?" I asked.
"What is that?"
"It's a fan. We're selling fans. You want a fan?" The words just fell out of me, as my hope had already fallen hours before.

"I can't afford a fan. I don't got money, honey. I killed my husband."

Wait, what?

By this point, the murderer was holding my fan up to her face to cool herself off (she didn't know that it wasn't on, but she basked in the "refreshing air" it produced). She then launched into the details of her life. The death of her mother. The fire she survived, The birth of her still born child that somehow made the front page of the newspaper in Blacksville, South Carolina. And all of these things seemed to happen in 1967. Though it wasn't until I commented "What a tough year" that she realized that that all happened around the same time.

She lives on 64th street in a 5 bedroom apartment.

"How much is your rent?" I asked. I don't condone murdering but I love a good piece of real estate.

"How long have you live there"
"46 years"
"Child bring that number to the floor!"
"$250." she said.
"That's not-"
"An I'm getting my kitchen redone!"

Then she talked about her husband cheating on her in 2001 in their brand new house in Miami. Her words became quite unintelligible, but her diction turned crystal clear when she suddenly offered "and that whole house smelled like sex. it was ruined."

Miss Edie, as she told us to call her, was crazy. She had a mind of loops and hoops. Why didn't we leave? Well it was either listen to the rejokeulous tales of the non-grey-gardens Miss Edie, or go back into that heat where no one wanted to buy the brilliant offering of a battery operated personal pocket mini-fan.

Butever. We were selling fans. I guess we were just as crazy as she was.

Brian and I worked up enough courage to leave. I did, however, get my fan back first.

I then went downtown to work on a project, where the kind-souled sister of a good friend of mine happened to be.

"What'd you do today?" she asked.
"I tried to sell these fans."

I took a fan out of my bag and explained my idea to her and the failure it had been reigning on my soul. Then - realizing that this was someone who did not think that I was mentally in line with Miss Edie - I went in for the offer.

"You want to buy one?"
"A fan? No."
"But it's so hot out!"
"It's awful out, I know."
"So buy a fan."
"How much?"
"3 bucks."

She laughed and got her purse. This was it! Walls start with one brick. Twitter starts with one follower. Multi-Millions start with 3 bucks.

We made the hand off. I handed her her brand new fan, she handed me three bucks!

About an hour and a half later, when she thought I wasn't looking, she put the fan back in my bag.

Those were pity bucks. And I got three of them.

But I have another idea. I do have another idea....

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