A Metaphor for a City like New York
I’ve been trying since yesterday evening to tell this story without being offensive or condescending about the elderly, the demented, or the homeless. I don’t know if I ever figured it out, so I’d like to apologize in advance…
Yesterday I boarded the G train and there was a pale elderly man seated next to a tomato. Not tomato sauce in a can. Not a small package of grape tomatoes, just a big. red. tomato.
He quickly spotted me (my fro has that effect) and started screaming at me in Italian I couldn’t comprehend. He snapped his fingers to get my attention a few times, but I just browsed photos I’d already seen on my phone, shuffled a few songs on my “chill times bro” playlist, and fiddled with my never-ending hangnails. While I thought the tomato was strange, what came next was even stranger:
He picked up the tomato, and he put it into his pants. Not the pants he was wearing, mind you, but one of the two pairs of pants he was holding in his lap. He didn’t put it in a pocket of the pants. He put it into the pants entire.
I don’t know what any of that meant, truly. I’d like to think it was a metaphor for a city like New York, but maybe it wasn’t. Maybe it was just a bizarre interaction on the subway.
xo - Akilah