You Might Want to Sing it Note for Note

I’m sitting here on Cindi’s couch watching American Idol and a shitty, low-quality Ft. Wayne Hyundai commercial just came on. Where am I going with this post? It had some bad ass theme music to it: Don’t Worry Be Happy.

So, right about now, you’re probably thinking (in keeping with the awesome I’m-here-for-a-funeral theme I’ve got going on) that this is probably going to be some sort of sentimental/life-contemplating/live everyday to its fullest blog entry. Well, party people, I hate to disappoint you, but you’re wrong. One (more) self-deprecating tale of humiliation comin’ right up!

I met up with Esteban (A. Yes, I dated a boy name Esteban. B. Yes, he could be the new Fabio – the really hot latino version, anyway) after one of his shows and we started talking about things people living in other cities miss out on. There are a few experiences unique to New York, like the elation experienced after throwing oneself onto a subway car RIGHT before the doors close, the mysterious defiance of science that occurs when descending the stairs of a subway platform in the summer (fact: warm air DOES NOT ALWAYS RISE), and how over a period of time, homeless people, beggars, and street performers somehow manage to become invisible… with the exception of Tiger.

Tiger’s my neighborhood homeless man. Apparently, he’s lived on 9th and C for close to 18 years, and everyone on our corner knows him by name. A few times I’ve even found him sleeping in my stairwell on rainy nights. He never asks anyone for money, or for anything, really. The most he’s ever asked of me was to hand him his cigarettes after he’d tucked himself into his bed, err, newspaper (which was probably a fire hazard, now that I think about it).

On one particular occasion, I remember someone (who was likely new to the area) trying to befriend Alphabet City’s favorite sidewalk sleeper by offering him some food. I didn’t see what was offered, but by Tiger’s reaction I could only assume the humanitarian in question was a first timer: “WHAT?! You’re trying to give me THAT?! I can’t eat that SHIT!!! You tryin’ a give an old man a heart attack?! I can’t eat that FRIED shit!!!” Yeah. Tiger only eats organic.

Anyway, I remember telling Esteban a few even less interesting Tiger stories, and unexpectedly, Esteban began all out HOWLING! My mind started racing… “Why is he laughing so hard, and why isn’t he stopping? Did I drool? Stutter? Damnit! I must’ve drooled! There’s spit on my face, I just know it! FUCK! I just drooled in front of HOT LATINO FABIO!” Then, to further add to my befuddled confusion, Esteban stood up, nearly kicked over his chair all-the-while still doubling over in violent laughter, and grabbed one of his castmates by the shoulder: “You’ve gotta hear this!”

I soon met Justin. Justin casually, yet appropriately, laughed at a few of my Tiger stories. Esteban, however, sat there giggling like a little school girl. His face was red, his eyes were teary, and he had a smirk on his face that I’m pretty sure not even a punch to the gut could’ve removed. Finally, he started howling, and goes, “Now tell him who this guy looks like!” And I’m like, “Oh, oh! He’s a spot-on homeless Bobby McFerrin!” Before I even had a chance to say “you know, the guy who sings ‘Don’t Worry Be Happy!’” BOTH of them let out deep-bellied wails that literally silenced the bar! After a solid two minutes of laughting, Esteban, finally huffed out between breaths, “Now, now…tell her! Tell her who your dad is!”

Ladies and gentleman, I had just met JUSTIN MCFERRIN.


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