So. It’s Tuesday night. Like 9:45. Another slow one and honestly it’s taking every ounce of strength I have to keep from checking Twitter on my iPhone and just spoiling the new episode of LOST that I was missing but, you know, I buckle down and just pace back and forth on this pile of giant rocks in the northwest pocket of Central Park, fooling myself that there are a couple of stars visible in the overcast night sky. It had poured all day but had tapered off into a kind mist. A bit annoying, but manageable.
Central Park is obviously a hot/dangerous spot in the city thanks to the giant green hole in the middle of it that the government took ownership of once it started giving superpowers to anyone who fell into it (anyone unfortunate enough to not have inherited a centuries-old method of manipulating analog soundwaves into powerful energy constructs, that is). But obviously anyone looking to mess around here doesn’t just have to worry about the like fourteen electrified rings of fencing and concrete barriers and fully armed highly trained soldiers, but also a pretty healthy phalanx of Union members at pretty much every square block. So as potentially hairy a place as Central Park could be, it usually doesn’t ever really go that far.
But every now and then, you’ll get someone crazy enough to start trouble. Usually some derelict, who was convinced long before The Well ever appeared that the dirt and grass in the park was primed to grant them the power of telekenesis, will get a little too close to where he shouldn’t and one of us will have to sort of flex to scare him off. And usually they do scare off.
But this guy. Dude is kind of stumbling down the jogging path in these baggy striped pants, a wife-beater, an overcoat, and he’s wearing this paperboy cap over his gross tangle of hair. And everything he’s wearing is just totally grimed out.
So I hop off the rocks and ask him what he’s doing and just then we both hear the dull whine of someone getting lowered into The Well (they do run the thing 24 hours, of course, too many applicants to take any time off), and we see that soft green glow over the tree line and all of a sudden the dude loses it, pushes me to the ground and runs right towards it, south, to the middle of the park.
So now I’m damp, which in a lot of ways is worse than full-on wet, and Stubble McOvercoat is hoofing it towards very dangerous territory for him and so I pull out my tape deck, hit play, and aim it at him. And suddenly behind him is this amazing cluster of carnival performers. A bearded woman, a dude holding a bleeding and headless chicken, siamese triplets; all glowing orange and chasing this lunatic down the glittering concrete, mist crackling along their edges. It didn’t take long for them to catch him, and it was no problem for the strongman to hold him while the rest of them sort of looked on, menacingly, their arms crossed, scowling.
I had to put the song on A-B Repeat for a few minutes because it’s kind of on the short side and backup took like forever to show up.