An Unstoppable Ballet
Madison Ave morning cold. Because it is spring, people, groomed and girdled for work, are disappointed that winter is not gone. Although their seersuckers and linens are mangle creased, the carefree feeling of these garments is lost in the shove to start the day.
The New York Post headline shouts that the air level is dangerous and the last words of a Brooklyn boy were "Go get help. They are biting me hard." The boy was devoured by polar bears who have lived in the Prospect Park Zoo for thirty years . Yesterday evening the boy and his friend carefully stripped off their clothes to swim in the moat surrounding the simulated arctic habitat protecting the adorable bears' visitors.
The bears were immediately shot by the authorities. The Post blames the strange tragedy on misguided childhood spring yearnings and the out of season cold.
On Madison at Fifty Ninth, a man, with a young athletic body, is wearing only a sports jacket and oversized pants. No socks,
no shoes. no underwear, no shirt. His bare chest is unaffected by the morning chill. His eyes look indifferent to the world as he crosses Madison Ave, as if his headlights had swiveled inward. With balletic grace, outstretched arms, no socialized attempts to cover his penis with his dripping pants, as the taxis graze by, he crosses the street in a curve ball pattern, with the derelict luck of a pinball zip fleeting past the pockets. The traffic never stops. For the passing people poised fifty feet across the street, the moment offers only a helpless awe, as if watching on a film, distanced by a river of motion, the suction of a swirling drain. An ordinary event in a city where appalling human decay and sumptuous luxury ignore each other. One more miserable person pushed to discover a personal art (political statement, style, rebellion, economic default, pathology - substitute a number of pressure fronts) to distinguish himself from the mass misery. This man's body seems gazelle healthy, his movements gladiator. Are his clothing and traffic shield a religious transcendence of ordinary reality? The pathos strikes only a few on the diagonal corner. The image evaporates for them a few moments later in the elevator holding warm bags of coffee. The closed mind of work invades.