The Unknown: The Red Line.
  We subterrained back up Columbus Park way. This homeless guy, Jimmy, came up and introduced himself to us. He said “I’m Jimmy. I’m Homeless.” His face looked like it had been through the masher and slicer—nose bent in, deep furrows about the eyes, scars cut deep in and a bloody scab on his forehead. We gave him our last few drops of high-test. We were getting along smashingly, in a homeless guy/drunk writers type of way, but then when Jimmy heard we were writers, he went for Scott with a knife. He only got in two short stabs (surface wounds really) to the abdomen before Timothy Coyne, a cop with a heavy Brooklyn accent, burst out of the shrubbery and tackled Jimmy. Coyne then boxed Jimmy on the ears and let him go with a warning. Apparently the same thing had happened with Paul Auster the week before. It seems Jimmy had got “done in” by an erroneous statement made by Norman Mailer some years before, and ever since then had stabbed every writer he ran across. This, by the way, should not be interpreted as any kind of blanket statement about homeless people, who are generally good people getting fucked by a cruel and unforgiving cash-driven society. It was just that one guy, Jimmy. Nevertheless, my advice is: if you’re a writer, don’t walk through Columbus Park, or at least don’t look like a writer while you are. Or else you might meet Jimmy’s little Bowie Knife. Which hurts good if and when it sticks you.

Our treatment was considerably better the next time we visited New York.



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