An event I witnessed yesterday afternoon struck me as a clear example of how tense and emotional the current running through NYC and the country is right now. At 4:00 I sitting on a bench outside Gourmet Garage trying to figure out how to place a complicated Starbucks order for my neighbor when I heard a man and a woman across the street angrily yelling at each other. From what I could discern he was furious because she had asked him why he wasn’t wearing a mask. He shouted menacingly that just because he was black and she was white she had no right to tell him what to do. Her odd emotional response was that she wasn’t prejudiced and to prove it she had just participated in the protest march downtown. He didn’t care he yelled, she was a white bigot and all the violence happening in this country right now was because of people like her. My pounding heart finally calmed down when she turned and quickly started walking away. After yelling a few more angry retorts he stormed away as well, thankfully in the opposite direction.
In the meantime, my attempt to do a good deed was rewarded by an angry phone call from my neighbor demanding to know why I thought this was what she wanted from Starbucks (possibly because it was the closest thing on the menu that matched the complicated instructions in her text?). She told me she threw away the $8.00 drink and that I should go get my money back. Not quite the reaction I had in mind!
Could the day get any more star crossed? If you saw the police attacking peaceful protesters to clear a path so President Trump could make his way across the street to brandish a bible in front of St John’s church, you know the answer.