Keith Snyder
Door always open.

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Just a scrap

You want to go straight to Queens and take a load off, or you want to go upstairs and see the city?

I'd met him at Newark Airport, and we'd just lugged his bags off the second of three trains. One more train to my place. The big Penn Station information board clicketa-whirred. Three hundred eyeballs swiveled up and fixed on it, fifty mouths open, and click, the gate number came up, and the horde surged around us toward escalator 11. Weighed down with luggage, he twisted around toward me. His eyes sparkled. I'm game if you are!

You look good bald, I said.

We ate our way from Penn Station to Radio City Music Hall. I'm getting a hot dog, you want one? Whats that building? (I dunno, Jase.) No way, man--they do street work at nine at night here? Is that souvlaki? You can buy souvlaki on a street corner? Hey, who's that statue of? (I dunno, Jase.) Whats a knish? You want one? Wow, Times Square! I'm in Times Square! This is so cool!

We bought two more hot dogs with everything from an Armenian with a boombox and stood in the clean, Disneyfied Times Square and watched the relaxed policemen and the bright commercials on their forty-foot video screens, the lights and traffic, the local kids acting cool and the tourists in camera straps and belted shorts, and we wandered away and found another subway station. Around midnight, I slung his bag onto my living room floor and my wife was getting up to give him a hug.

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