"A Cold Front Was Supposed to Be Moving in"
Josh Ring

A cold front was supposed to be moving in, but it wasn't there yet. I was sweating in my jeans. I was considering going back to my apartment to change into shorts. I only lived a block away, but still decided that since I was already in the park and didn't want to be late, I shouldn't bother. At least I wasn't alone; on the street, I saw everyone else wearing pants too. They were probably just as hot as I was. That gave me some comfort; they had made the same mistake as I did.

I was walking through the park to the West Side to make it a much simpler, one-train ride down to Penn Station. Instead of walking a scenic route, I was on the crooked, cobble stone sidewalk of 85th street. I wanted to save time. Plus, I was carrying my clothing for the weekend in a canvas bag. It was heavy. I didn't feel like carrying that on the longer route.

Within the first hundred yards or so, I saw three little children sticking their cheeks through a black fence above me. They were no older than five; their cheeks still had baby fat on them. They had wandered through some bushes from a playground behind them to this fence protecting them from the seven-foot ledge and the cross-town traffic before them

They waved to me. I waved back in large side-to-side movement with a completely open fist, as one does when waving to babies. They seemed to be inviting me out to enjoy this last day of summer. It was cute. When I got closer, the one in the middle, a girl, I think, and probably the leader of her little trio play group, yelled out in a little squeaky voice that can be expected from a girl her size and age, "loser!" I was shocked. It had all been a trick. The waving, and smiles, and bright plants behind them, and the beautiful sunny day, it was all fake, a hoax.

It was then that I received the big blow: "DOUBLE LOSER!" They were laughing, laughing behind that fence.

It hurt. I was considerably older and more mature. I could go to the park by myself; their mommies had to bring them. Also, I knew much worse names to call people than "double loser." But this still stung. I trusted them. They were beautiful.

I quickened my pace. I wanted to get away from there. I could hear them laughing. I was depressed; my muscles grew weary. I flung my weekend bag over my other shoulder and walked as fast as I could to the train.

I was sweating.

More Josh Ring Does Stuff

Josh Goes to the Zoo September, 2002

Dogs August, 2002

Mermaids on Parade July, 2002

Josh Ring Supports Israel June, 2002

Josh Ring's Track Meet May, 2002

October 2002

jay's head
josh ring