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Two Hobos

I stumble on two polish hobos fighting in the park, on the day after thanksgiving. All the other hoboes watch silently, on the benches in McCarren—the drunk hobos swing wildly at each other, landing punches on each other with soft thunds—they grapple as if they’re dancing. The fight is much more peaceful and slow and quiet than the hyperspeed thud and male violence of the movies. They have a muted masculinity to them, the sense that it must be reawakened—the fight seems like it is actually good for them. After so many years of wasteful dispersion and paralysis sitting on stone park benches like cadavers collecting pigeons, they get up and feel the blood moving in their veins once more—fighting. Sprawling on sidewalks.

The park they fight in has a wintry glow to it. Even though it’s midafternoon and not that cold, it makes me happy to see families strolling lazily through the park the day after thanksgiving, a sad vacant day—like an 18th century Monet. Like a real metropolis, trapped in time. Back where I come from people just sit in traffic on the highway, on their way to black Friday sales, or laze their way through the day at home.

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