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CLIPS: A Series of Seemingly Staged Events

Today, I was walking with my female friend in the Lower East Side, and this very thin, very tan lady bumped into her very roughly. It was a beautiful, sunny day, and we had decided to go for a walk. The lady dropped the food she was carrying and then tried to pressure my friend into giving her money for more food because she was homeless and didn’t have any money to go buy another meal. It looked like some sort of sandwich with naan bread on the ground. I didn’t really like that this woman was pressuring us to give her money. She had a man with her, but I don’t really remember what he looked like.

About four paces before the woman had aggressively walked into my friend, some ginger man in his late twenties or early thirties had shouted at me that I’m beautiful and I, for my own amusement, shouted back, “Thank you, I get that a lot, believe it or not!”

And so this woman is asking us for money. All I have on me is a ten dollar bill on me that I really wanted to use to buy a coffee and to be completely honest, I just didn’t like this lady. She looked very hippie and spiritual, but she’s pressuring us for money. I don’t appreciate being emotionally manipulated. She keeps repeating how hungry and poor she is. My friend tells the homeless lady that she doesn’t have any cash on her so the lady insisted that we go to an ATM.

I’m honestly frozen, watching what’s going on before me. I wonder how long it would’ve taken before I just pulled my friend away from the woman. I didn’t get to find out, though, because the slightly older man from before walks into the restaurant he was sitting in front of (he wasn’t having a meal in front of the restaurant, mind you, and now I’m sitting here so many hours later, left wondering who he was), and then comes out with some dollar bill and shoves it at the lady. I looked him in the eyes and he was tall and not too thin but just a touch too old and I didn’t really like the spacing between his teeth but I was really happy he helped us out and took responsibility like a man.

He shoves it at her and she fucks off, essentially. My friend and I keep walking, and at the restaurant over, this beautiful group of people eating in front chat us up, and the male half of a gorgeous couple asked us, “What happened?”.

We explain and they nod understandingly, claiming that it all seemed oddly staged. We nodded back in agreement. What an odd series of events: I think that is today’s Word of the Day— odd. Another man at the table responds to us with a remarkable level of soft empathy, reiterating our own experience to us. His dialogue included lots of words, but they seemed kind. And then they told us that we shouldn’t feel like the series of events was our fault.

It was a bit odd because we hadn’t felt like it was our fault… people only do what they want. We were left wondering if that beautiful group of people were real, born-and-raised New Yorkers. It didn’t really seem like it. They wouldn’t have been so empathizing if they were.