“Don’t touch the fucking ball!”
I turn my head and see the coach of the outfield lesbian softball team screaming in the direction of the Little League game on the next field. I was kind of watching the game as I passed, so I knew someone had just hit a home run — if not a grand slam, at least a triple. (Sexy show.)
I was in Prospect Park walking Chulo and Ziggy, our next door neighbor’s dog who is an adorable black fluffy something and we were circling the four or five softball fields there. We watched the lesbian coach dramatically argue with the old Italian man umpire for a minute until we realized, like all lesbian drama, it wasn’t going to be resolved any time soon, so we moved on. As we neared the field with the little leaguers I saw the sponsor of the home team was Immaculate Heart of Mary.(I found that picture on Flickr. I swear to god. I mean, God.)
They were playing Holy Name.
Now. Am I just being Southern, or is this completely inappropriate? It’s Brooklyn, I know. Kids in Brooklyn hear and speak worse than I do. Me. And I’m sure the kids weren’t representing the actual churches, but rather the schools associated with them, but still. It got to me a little. And, of course, I thought it was totally funny at the same time.
The next scene I came to was two teenaged girls sitting on a hill.
Girl 1: [Squealing] Oh my god! We could bring our books and totally hang out and just read all day!
Girl 2: [Bouncing on her knees.] That is so perfect! I love it!
Girl 1: [Pulling out a well-worn journal and her (no doubt) favorite pen.] We could invite Jen and Aubrey and Missy.
In essence they were planning my 15 year old self’s fantasy birthday party. And I prayed that they got something I never had at that age.
“Dear Jesus. Please let them have nerdyness and popularity.”
(Side note. Who am I kidding? This is my 36 year old self’s fantasy birthday except now it would require red wine.)
Anyway, the point is I love, love, love Brooklyn in the spring. My favorite part of Brooklyn is all of the different people and the way that we’re all in such close proximity that we get a chance to catch glimpses of people’s personal lives. Not in a creepy, voyeuristic, Peeping Tom way, but in an almost anthropological study way. And it’s different in Spring — in other seasons it’s either too cold or too hot and no one lingers the way they do when it’s gorgeous outside. There’s something special and beautiful about it. And it doesn’t matter whether it’s the man I saw on the street this morning who handed his girlfriend her dry cleaning and stomped away after she screamed, “It’s just you don’t know when to quit!” or the guy I saw on the train the other day who, I promise you, solved, messed up, and re-solved a Rubik’s cube within two train stops.
As we were leaving the park, we passed the skater kids. I could have hung out and watched them all day. They are so adorable and teenager-ish. They’re uber cool in only the way a 15 year old can be, they had all the players — the boy who was smoking hot, the girl who was smoking hot, the smoking hot girlfriend’s cool in a nerdy non-conformist way, the couple of hangers-on … you know the scene. They all had skateboards and I believe I saw two of them actually using them as something other than a prop or an accessory. I felt myself becoming very grandmotherly and wanting to go over and hug them all and tell them how great they were. But then I was afraid that I would be ridiculed, just like when I was 15 and no one should ever have to go through that twice.
Now, I do admit we New Yorkers have our Peeping Tom side. The fact is, New Yorkers are all notorious for looking into people’s windows at night. If you live in this city — especially Brooklyn or Manhattan — and you have windows facing a public street, you know that if have your lights on and your curtains open at night, people will be checking out your decor as they walk by. That is just the way it is. You either keep ’em closed, or you accept it.
For some people looking in windows at night is a hobby. I’m definitely a big fan.