Winter Tour Journal, 2013, Entry II, NYC

Posted: February 1st, 2013

Hi there moe.rons:

Once again I find myself happily traipsing about Times Square. I’m searching for the Best Buy Theater, where my employer and your favorite band, will play this weekend. It’s crowded here, in T-Square. It’s always crowded here. People move in herds or freeze and gawk at the bright lights in the big city. There are people jams everywhere. I hear chatter from all quarters in languages familiar and unfamiliar and then some. I can’t make out what anyone is saying. Mostly, because they’re speaking in tongues other than English—the language I happen to be fluent in. Hearing all the different languages spoken is like listening to a Rhapsody in Sacré Bleu. I like the sound. It’s like going to Miami—a place once considered an American city, but now more widely known as the de facto capital of Latin America and favorite haunts of really bad reality TV. In Miami, the lingua franca is Spanish, with a smattering of English and a lot of people sounding like a bad imitation of Al Pacino in Scarface sounding like Al Pacino in Scarface. Here in Times Square there’s much more linguistic diversity. I’m picking up German, Japanese, French, Italian, some guttural Slavic language (or possibly a sick Dutchman?), and I’m certain, the belching of hobos panhandling for quarters.

If it is hobos (and, dear God, by the smell, that may not be belching), I can’t tell because I can’t see. I’m suddenly semi-locked in-step with a herd—whilst distracted listening to languages. It’s stop and go against my will. I can’t pass, either. I wait for an opening, fearful I may be spewed into the back end of a tour bus, or worse yet, into the open arms of a street vendor who’ll have me in a $20 Rolex. The street vendors have me pegged as a rube. Rightfully so, I suppose. I’m in New York City and I’m wearing plaid. And not just any plaid. It’s “Hunting-8-point-buck-in-the-Woods-of-Maine” red plaid. In my mind’s eye, I’m already sporting my new $20 Rolex and hearing the cackle of the band and crew about how I was suckered again.

 All but young Casey, our newbie monitor engineer. He’s from Maine, too. And I know for sure he’s in the market for a $25 Rolex—ka-ching! Oh yeah!

I’ve all but closed the deal now, when, suddenly, the herd parts and I break free. There is no tour bus. There is no $20 Rolex salesman. But there are actors posing as mannequins (or maybe they’re mannequins posing as actors???). Beyond them, I see “moe.” on the marquis of the Best Buy Theater and make a beeline. I’m there … or here … I’m in … through the double-secret entrance … I’ll see you soon enough… if not, later … tootles, brother john