Washington Square: White Parrot

Crossing Washington Square going south, after the fountain, the faint smell of cholorine from it, and the people sitting in the fountain’s lip and getting gently sprayed by it, the young 20-somethings fiddling with an expensive-looking NYU movie camera on a tripod, the rasta guy in the sun in sunglasses, and his hair gathered in a hot-looking, in-this-80s-fahrenheit-weather, woolly dread-gatherer hat, after I’ve passed the vaguely Latin man in cargo shorts and sunglasses, weirdly doing a strange hip dance to himself with his shirt off, exposing an impressive, and suntanned beer belly, coming close to my goal, NYU’s Bobst library where I am writing this post, A man in a white shirt and white linen trousers, crosses eastbound traffic on a bike. With his salt-and-pepper hair and Rioja-induced florid complexion, he looks vaguely like the famous Irish-born hispanist Ian Gibson. But that isn’t what attracts attention. It’s the white parrot sitting on the handlebar, quite calmly, as he turns into Washington Square. The parrot, its slightly-yellow crest stirring in the breeze, shifts its dangerous clawed feet a little bit on the rubber handle. Otherwise, it’s as calm as if it were riding on a piratical shoulder.