Previously on Misconnecting in the City...
Cute-sounding juggler posts Missed Connections ad suggesting that a mystery woman drop more than just money in his hat. Alex's friends weigh in.
I almost didn't go. I have a project due at 5:00 and an eyebrow wax at 3:30 and I just didn't know if I had to time to squeeze a craigslist adventure in between.
Around 1:30, it occurred to me that I always have time for a craigslist adventure (hello!) so I threw on a cute outfit and hauled ass to Tompkins Square Park, dragging my roommate along for the ride.
It was hot and humid and we got lost a few times on the way, repeatedly bemoaning the fact that "there's no way anyone would juggle for a whole hour" but we pushed onward. We made it to the park around 2:15 and after a few minutes' survey of the park's population of social deviants, we concluded that there were no jugglers to be found.
Just as we were about to give up, I remembered that he'd mentioned that he'd be wearing a blue shirt and grey shorts. My roommate's nails suddenly dug into my arm. "Oh my god, there he is. That's him." And there was this, like, amazingly cute dude wearing a blue shirt and grey pants and holding a bunch of juggling balls.
Holding them. As in, not juggling.
I didn't know what to do. He wasn't juggling and his hat wasn't on the ground. I can't very well throw a dollar at a perfect stranger who is just sitting on a park bench. So we sat on a bench a few feet away and waited, amusing ourselves by whispering furtively and taking surreptitious photos.
I called Sasha, who lives down the block, to get her opinion on the matter, when my roommate suddenly grabbed my arm again. "I think he's going to start juggling!" Sure enough, he'd gathered up his juggling balls and he was... wait, he was putting them in his backpack!
"Alex, he's leaving!"
"Well, what am I supposed to do?!"
"Go talk to him!"
"GO TALK TO HIM. RIGHT NOW."
And before I knew what I was doing, I was doing just that.
"Excuse me," I said to his back. "Um, were you just, uh, juggling? A little while ago?"
He turned to look at me and I saw this really funny, unidentifiable expression sweep across his face. "Ye-e-e-s..." Suddenly he started to smile.
"Yeah, um, I saw your, uh, Craigslist post and I came by to give you a note but we got here a little late..."
"How about if I give you an encore performance right now?"
And he did. He dropped his hat on the sidewalk and he gave an on-demand juggling performance for me in the middle of Tompkins Square Park. And I gave him a dollar.
He was a pretty good juggler although he said that he'd only taught himself that morning. He said no one else had come by all afternoon and thanked me for the dollar and I told him that we were in a hurry (which we were) and had to go but thanks for the show. And we left.
But not before wrapping this note inside the dollar bill:
So I'm going at 5:30. He probably won't be there because, hello, he probably has a life. But I'm going anyway and if he doesn't show up, Sasha and I are going out for chocolate martinis because, let's face it, that juggler wasn't the only one today with a lot of balls.