Friday, January 19, 2007

"Never meet your heroes", part 23

I follow people.


If I think a person is interesting, I follow them. Not into their bathroom or anything, just down the way for a block or two. I walk how they walk, breathe how they breathe, try to see what they are seeing, consider it anthropology.

That being said:

I'm heading home on the 1 train this past November, and there is this guy directly across from me. Long grey hair, stubble, jean jacket, destroyed boots, HE WAS KIND OF AWESOME. I turn to Faryl,

"I wish that guy could play my dad in a movie."

"No, not your dad, your son in the future"

"Yes! He's like old Wolverine!"

And this is how I discovered "Wolverine Guy". If it seems like I'm making too big a deal out of some dude on the train, understand that I grew up in Manhattan, and my only experience with characters of true grit has been reruns of Northern Exposure.

Anyway, I get off the train, Wolverine Guy stays on (he's going uptown to some awesome diner I've never heard of or to "get some money from a guy"), and I forget about it.

Then, next week I'm on Crosby Street, and my main goes clomping by! He's wearing shades and appears to be walking at a 45 degree angle! This is very exciting. I wait a beat, then follow behind him, about 10 feet between us. I assume the diagonal body posture, start stomping to compensate for my loafers. He's lookin' around, "lookin' at all these damn suckers", I'm lookin' around too. He's puffin' on that cigarette, my arm follows his arm. We do this for a block, and I turn the corner, taking with me what I've learned.

I run into a friend. He asks what I'm up to. I tell him all about Wolverine Guy and how he's an amazing enigma in my world.

"Wait, I know that guy, he works at the bookshop down the street."

"Nah… I don't think he.. he wouldn't stand for that kind of thing."

"Okay, whatever. Sounds like the same guy though."

I saw Wolverine Guy every now and then over the next few months. It always gave me a charge, but that conversation with my friend kept nagging at me.

Until yesterday.

I went in to that book shop. I just went right in.

I went downstairs, where the NAYSAYERS would have you believe my hero spends his days.

And there he was.

Wolverine Guy.

Standing behind a counter, standing tall actually, very erect. He looked different. He didn't have his coat on, all of a sudden he was so skinny. Not in a indie rock kind of way, in a "I could take this guy" kind of way.

Bah! Its just my mind playing tricks. I'll talk to him. I'll ask him some dumb question and he'll give me the Logan guff! He'll say "Huh!? I don't know kid, I just work here, payin off some debts. Now gettoutta my face before I make ya."

I approach the counter.

"Hey, I'm in the market for a leather bound journal. You know, really rustic? Like Indiana Jones? Do you have that?"

"Oh my, that's a toughy"


His voice was so HIGH, so TIGHT. So 'I wasn't invited to this art opening but I came with my friend'.

He went on:

"Well, let me see, what's that place my wife likes….."

Your wife!? You're a loner! Its just you and that "picea' crap Harley'!

"Oh, I know, its Kate's Paperie. Do you know Kate's Paperie?"

"Y…yeah.. I know… I know Kate's. I. Have. To. Go. Now."

I turned slowly, then ran up the stairs and out of the store. I immediately went home and watched Raiders of the Lost Ark while doing pushups and whittling. I had to make sense of this attack on my idea of masculinity and mystery.

Faryl gets home.

"Baby! I met Wolverine Guy today! He's washed up detritus from the CBGB's scene!"

"Oh. Well, you know what they say."

"No… what?! What do they say!?"

"Never meet your heroes."

-Nick Scoullar

Thursday, January 11, 2007


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