Apologies for being a most delinquent blogger. I've been extremely busy of late. Last night, for instance, Punty and I had a hot date during which I wooed him with free advance screening tickets to Happy Feet, chocolates from Jacques Torres, my unrivaled knowledge of all things pop culture, my doe eyes and that pouty thing I do with my lips.
Yah, so it didn't work.
This, however, readers, wasn't the most bizarre part of the night. Punty not falling for my downright nerdchanting ways was eclipsed in that category by my commute via subway train to the theater. There I was, straphanging and minding my own business along with my other straphangers (and silently cursing the person at work who's been pilfering my weekly issues of The New Yorker for damn well over a month now!) when we were lurched out of our collective reverie by a panhandler.
What's so bizarre about a panhandler panhandling on a city subway, you ask?
Nothing, really, right? This one announced that her name was Carlene, that she was a 36-year-old widowed mother of two boys who needed cash to feed, not a drug habit, but her children. And then I turned to look at her and, dear jeebus, I recognized the lady! We'd graduated from college together! The reason I remember her is because she was so odd. I'd see her wandering around between classes, mumbling to herself. During class, she'd sometimes, very dramatically, take out a syringe of what I assumed was insulin and stab herself in the thigh.
I don't remember her name but who's really named Carlene these days, anyway (I feel like most Carlenes died out in the '70s; no offense to any surviving Carlenes or younger Carlenes out there), so it must be an alias. She isn't 36. I doubt she has two children and that she's a widow (unless she got really busy after graduating from college five years ago, in which case apologies to you Carlene). Even though I don't want to belive it, perhaps the one denial Carlene uttered in her introduction of herself was the only truth and she, in fact, did want the money for drugs? Perhaps I'm overthinking it? But, wouldn't you be disturbed, reader, if you ran into a former classmate begging for money, regardless of how well you knew him or her?
I gave her a Sacagawea dollar, which Punty astutely noted can be a collectors' item in addition to feeding Carlene, her family, and whatever else she chooses to do with the money.