TALE OF THE SOCKMAN
Strange happenings once again on my wanderings around Midtown East.
On a brisk afternoon with the wind at my back, walking east on 40th street I was looking up at the tall, rectangular, shining blue glass edifice of the United Nations.
Ahead in the distance I could make out the small outline of a man walking toward me. He walked from side to side as if he were bowlegged. And then I could hear him. He was saying something quite loudly but I was still to far away to make it our clearly.
"Rocks. Man. Hear. Rocks"
With each step we took we closed in on each other, closer and closer. Now I could see him clearly. A tall man of about 50, with grey hair, a grey mustache and weathered skin. He was wearing a baggy green army coat, black pants, worn dress shoes and he looked slightly homeless, but not dirty.
He kept moving closer to me and now I could hear him clearly.
"SOCKMAN, SOCKMAN HERE, GET YOUR SOCKS. NOTHING TO FEAR, JUST THE SOCKMAN."
Now we were only 5 feet from each other. He was speaking directly to me. "SOCKMAN, FRESH SOCKS."
And sure enough hanging from his fingertips, one in each hand, were two bags of unopened six packs of white tube socks.
"Hello sir, would you like some socks today?" I looked at him closely, admiring his enthusiasm and salesmanship, but alas, I needed no socks that day. Politely I answered. "No thank you, not today."
He looked me in the eye. Silence. A moment passed, then another, then another.
Then his face started to change, the smile was gone, a look of confusion and then...
His face began to twist and contort and screw up into a look of anger.
"FUCK YOU, MOTHERFUCKER. COCKSUCKER, CUNT. GODDAMN MOTHERFUCKER, FUCK YOU. I SHOULD KILL YOU MOTHERFUICKER."
I was stunned, a little scared and quickly stepped aside and moved on. I kept walking.
I looked over my shoulder and saw him swaying side to side on his way again and I heard him again.
"SOCKMAN, I'M THE SOCKMAN. NOTHING TO FEAR, JUST SOCKS. JUST THE SOCKMAN."