i love the early weekend mornings in my neighborhood.
the drug dealers aren't up yet. the voices of the gospel choir waft out the windows of the church on the corner. the laundromat, sans the sounds of prize-winning bell-ringing from spanish game shows or overly-dramatic music from telenovelas, is warm and the rumbling of the dryers is strangely calming.
basking in the serenity of my morning, i sit down at mcdonalds with an orange juice and a sandwich, reading my new yorker. sun streaming through the windows, i close my eyes, and pretend for a moment that i'm at the beach.
"pssst! psssst!" i hear, coming from right behind me. my shoulders tense up. the hissing is followed by kissy noises. severely agitated, i refuse to turn around. "these are my quiet mornings without annoying people and you're ruining it with your catcalling!" i think to myself. "come on baby," the voice purrs. i concentrate on the pages in front of me. i hear him leaving his seat, and as he walks past me i hear him say, "good girl" to the baby that he has in his arms.
realizing that he was talking not to me but his child, my shoulders relaxed. feeling foolish but glad that i can still consider myself safe from sexual harassment during my early mornings in washington heights, i returned to the tranquility of my morning.