Wednesday, June 4
I'm riding uptown on the #6 train. At 51st street a guy with a shaved head and wearing a tank top, black jeans, and motorcycle boots gets on by grabbing the door at the last minute and forcing it open.
That's a bad sign, I think.
I notice the guy has a hunting knife hanging from his belt. It reminds me of a hunting knife I saw in a sporting goods store once.
They call it The Skinner.
Another bad sign.
Under his arm he's carrying a folded up copy of The Post.
Real bad sign.
At 59th street a couple of kids get on selling candy. Milky Way, Hershey Bars, Skittles. They start moving up the aisle talking loudly about getting uniforms for their basketball team. Riders begin to grumble. They don't appreciate the intrusion.
The kids are heading right for The Skinner.
The Skinner licks his lips and his fingers begin to twitch.
The Skinner steps into the aisle to confront them. They are not intimidated. All of them are soon face-to-face.
The Skinner looks at the kids. The kids look at The Skinner. Nobody moves. Nobody blinks. Nobody breathes.
The train pulls into the 68th street station.
The Skinner's hand moves toward his belt. The kids tense up.
The Skinner speaks.
"Skittles," he says, pulling a crumpled dollar bill from his jeans pocket.
The kids give him his Skittles, the Skinner gives them the dollar, all three exit the car.
Not bad. Not bad at all.