On Thursday New York basked in a freakish 70 degree March heatwave and out came the inevitable display of flesh. Stoops burst to life with lovers and smokers and The American and I strolled leisurely down to Union Square and felt the first heat of the year on our faces.
Then I saw a man trying to do a poo on the street.
I didn't spot it at first, at least I didn't catch what he was trying to do. I saw him from the other end of W16th street because he looked as if he was trying sit down on an invisible chair. Some kind of performance art I wondered? He was wobbling around a lot, so sitting on his make believe chair was quite hard.
It's not until I'm next to him that I see it's not so much a chair, than a throne the guy needs. Or a potty even. He is fiddling with his jeans zip when it hits me.
"Jesus Christ." I say under my breath to The American ''That man is trying to do a poo on the pavement."
"Gross." he says and walks on dismissively without looking back.
"Honey, look!" and I point back down the street.
"Emma, I don't want to look."
"No, you have to! Check him out, he can't even get his pants down."
"I am not looking!"
"Well I am."
"You are going to stand here and watch a man shit on the street?"
"You're grosser than he is"
"Just look! There's no poo yet, he hasn't even got his jeans off."
"He probably went already in his pants."
"Oh. I feel bad for him now."
"Why are you still watching him then?
"Because... It is morbidly fascinating."
"Watch away, I'm going to get cigarettes."
He dives into the nearest deli and I stay outside to watch poo man. He is still trying to sit on his imaginary toilet. I wonder what you have to be drinking to think there's a loo right in the middle of the pavement.
I raise my head up to the sun, push my glasses back onto my head and breathe in the sun. I hear a loud rattle and look right to see a lady coming up 5th avenue dragging a giant sack with hundreds of empty soda cans in. She stops right in front of me.
"Hey honey! I love your top!" she enthuses to me.
"Where'd ya get it sweetie?"
"Oh, in the UK."
And then she clatters off down fifth with her bag of cans, each one worth a few cents rebate.
The American comes out of the deli, Malboro already in his mouth.
"A bag lady just told me she liked my top." I say.
"Cool!" he mutters, clearly not listening.
"Hello? A bag lady just complimented me on my top!"
"And that's bothered you more than that guy taking a shit on the street?"
"You're a real New Yorker now honey."
For obvious reasons this blog has been somewhat difficult to pictorilise. So here is a picture of my new beloved Liberty London for Target lamp, to take your minds off poo.