Mystery Goat Man at Lincoln Center

by

06/08/2008

Lincoln Center Performing Art's Library, 66th & Broadway, 10023

Neighborhood: Manhattan

“You are beautiful.”

“Thanks,” I say, looking up from my monitor to face the man expressing the compliment. To my disappointment he is much older than me and resembles a crooked, worn goat, with strangly strands of grey hair, shaped in a horseshoe around his baldness. He does not fit into the sterile library environment with its white walls, and polished glass entrance. No, he looks as if he belongs on a field, chewing on mouthful of grass, occasionally galloping around the greenery. I fix my eyes back on the screen, convinced that I have a maniac magnet posted on my forehead attracting this creep.

Closing my eyes tightly, I’m hopeful it will make the goat-man disappear. Despite my wishful thinking, he is still ogling me. My body starts twisting and turning spastically, in an effort to scare the goatish man off, but he stands his ground as if he were marbled into the floor of the Lincoln Center Library.

Long after my web-minutes have ticked down to zero, I still gaze intensely at the blank screen to avoid eye contact with my worshipper. Finally, my peripheral vision shows me that he is moving towards the glossy exit. I take a sneak peak around the air-conditioned space, and allow myself to breathe when I see that Goatcreepsleaze is gone.

Happily, I sign up for another 30 minutes to complete the emails that Mr. Goat successfully distracted me from. Out of nowhere, the sneaky bastard appears in front of me again, now whispering.

“You are beautiful.”

This time I don’t look up from Cyberspace.

“Excuse me, Miss? Miss!”

Alright, THAT I can’t ignore. I look straight into the watery, blue eyes that smile at me, and notice the big, brown wart on Goaty’s nose.

“Miss, give me your hand.”

My heart feels like it’s going to escape my body. I don’t know what to do.

“Miss please, just give it to me.”

“No!” I say with a fierce voice.

“Just give me your hand. I just want to give you something, I promise it’s nothing bad. Please!”

I look around for help, but everyone I see, is avoiding any kind of involvement. They seem absorbed by the task of standing in line to borrow books and DVDs. Librarians of various sizes and ethnicities are sitting at their wooden desks, scanning items with sleepy gestures, calling “Next,” in between customers. I feel as if my existence is narrowed down to Goat-whacka-doo-doo, and me, in a cuckoo, little world on its own.

“Miss, just let me give you something for luck. Put it straight in your pocket and take it out when I’m gone. Come on, it will bring you luck.”

My instinct is to scream, but my vocal cords won’t allow it, so I rely on my last thread of hope to get rid of Goatwart. My hand reaches forward. The mysterious, goat-like man puts something small and flat in my hand, and closes it gently. My mind is tempted to look at the object, but I comply with his wish. I look up and he is gone. I’m beginning to think that G-man was just a mind trick.

The feeling of the “thing” in my pocket tells me otherwise. I reach for it and can’t believe what I’m seeing. It’s a 50 dollar bill, meticulously folded into the smallest possible shape.

I run out of the library, and am faced by the humid, hot air of a New York summer’s day. My feet take me in the direction I think Mr. G. trotted off to. As I pass the Metropolitan Opera, I see a group of people gathering outside the fountain, taking pictures and smiling. I desperately want to find goatman to give his money back.

I reach 66th Street and Broadway. The sidewalk is full of tourists, Juilliard students, and moms with strollers. My eyes catch the Barnes & Nobles sign on the other side of the busy street. Under it, next to a little cart that says “Nuts4Nuts,” a man is yelling, “Peanuts, peanuts!” I skim through the swarm of people that are plopping up from underground, but Mr. Goat-wannabe is nowhere to be seen. Once again, I have to feel the bill, to understand that he really exists. A warm feeling flushes over me, and for a second I feel bad for being suspicious towards such a nice and generous stranger, but soon my mind takes on a different direction. What if he thinks that I owe him something now that he has paid me? He could be a sleaze that is looking for a prepaid sex-romp, or a psycho that wants to track me down, and kill me for taking his 50 dollars. What if the money really will bring me luck? I could live with that.

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