Wednesday, November 19, 2003

Three Sikhs Day

Tuesday started with three cheery Sikhs in crimson turbans attaching enormous hooks onto the edge of our roof. Then ropes and pulleys and a platform were hoisted up. It was all so primitive. The hooks were cartoonishly large. And the ropes unusually thick.

I think that if I were to hang six flights about the pavement, I would like to have something more high tech. Something with digital read outs and back up systems. Something more advanced than a hook to keep me from splatting on the sidewalk.

From my living room window, I watched the three Sikhs fix the mortar between the bricks on the top floor across the courtyard. And they watched me, I'm sure, attend to the various chores of the day. Only New Yorkers feel comforted by having total strangers watch them throughout the day.

The weird day continued. I came home from picking up Jonah from preschool and read about the Jackson saga.

Michael Jackson's Neverland Ranch swarmed with cops looking for creepy evidence. That whole business is completely depressing. Jackson seems so completely unhinged and wacked out, that you just know that it's all going to end very, very badly. Like a swan dive off the Hoover Dam. Koolaid for the chimp.

When Angela came over for her regular Tuesday afternoon babysitting, she asked to speak to me in the kitchen. Oh, no, she wants a raise. Instead, she surprised me by valiantly offering to watch the kids for free one evening, because she thought I really needed to get out. Being a hopeless sap, I started to cry and flew out of the apartment to avoid further embarrassment.

In exchange for her sweet offer, I finished reading her husband's dissertation chapter. He's a graduate student at an Ivy League university, but his advisors are too busy to read his work. He doesn't know if his work is acceptable or if he's going in the right direction, and has been toiling at this for years. So, I read it and gave him some comments in the Starbucks on 181st Street.

I usually feel like I've used up my good will after 1-1/2 hour in a coffee shop, so I left without a destination. Too soon to go back home. So, I wandered the streets and the park in the misty rain.

At 4:00, I decided to head back home. Two laps around the park was enough. The Sikhs warmly greeted me. Their mustache curled up like two extra smiles. I hope their work keeps them here for a while.

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