That is Very Fine Luck You Know of Course
A man called me. He was interested in purchasing a loft in Hell’s Kitchen. I had viewed one a week earlier that seemed to meet both his requirements and price range, so we arranged to see it the following day.
I called to notify the seller. “Sure, come on by. I’ll be home all day,” he said.
The following day was warm and sunny. I walked up Tenth Avenue to the address in the West 30s. I arrived early and decided to wait across the street, out of the way of the steady stream of tenants and messengers going into and out of the mixed use building.
I leaned against a brick wall that abutted a garage. A few minutes later a man walked down the street from Ninth Avenue. He was in his late twenties or early thirties and wore jeans, a thin black leather jacket over a grey T-shirt, and a pale blue paisley bandanna around his neck. He smiled as I walked toward him. I hadn’t taken half a dozen steps when a pigeon swooped down and pooped on my head.
“Hi,” I said, as casually as I could manage. “I’m Liz.”
“Hi,” he said, staring at my head with a look that said thank God it wasn’t me.
I reached for the small enameled mirror in my bag and looked in it. Gobs of poop in my hair. I recall them as primarily white, with perhaps a tinge of yellow and a dab of chartreuse. “I have to go home,” I said. “Right now.”
“I can’t believe a single pigeon did all that,” he said, and he began to laugh. “I’m sorry. I guess it’s not funny. At least not to you.” It wasn’t, but I started laughing also, because he had a laugh that invited company.
He untied his bandanna and handed it to me. I smoothed it out and spread it over my head, neatly, as I would smooth a linen napkin over my lap.
“Thank you,” I said. I was immensely grateful.
“You don’t have to return it,” he said. “Ever.”
“You know I can’t show you the apartment today,” I said.
“That’s okay,” he said. “How about tomorrow?”
“Hi,” I said to the driver. “A bird shit on my head.”
“Yes, miss, and that is very fine luck you know of course,” he said as we zipped down Ninth. We made all the lights, and that fast, the cab was in front of my building.
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