There are more and more of them, all loudly conversing into thin air as they bizarrely breeze past you.
Psychos? Acute schizo nutjobs?
No. You quickly realize that they must be talking into some invisible gizmo or other which actually connects them with another human being. You hope.
Still, I find these people disturbing, partly because you’re never fully sure what they’re up to, and also because they tend to take away from my own habit of talking to myself in public.
I’m often found on my bike either rehearsing a speech I’m going to have to make, fantasizing that I’m an agent giving advice to Meryl Streep, or even belting out snippets of showtunes.
It makes things way more entertaining for me, if mildly creepy for others.
Just recently, a Tony nominee caught me on my bike as I was singing “I Don’t Know How To Love Him” in a very earnest baritone. He said hello anyway.
Another time, a famous designer caught me blithely riding around while unselfconsciously practicing my version of Susan Lucci‘s Emmy speech as if I were in a rehearsal studio. He said hello too!
And I kind of enjoyed giving them a mild jolt.
In fact, I want to be the only one with the privilege of being publicly loud, embarrassing, and weird.
Note to self:
Next time you see someone having a conversation with nothingness, try to find the wire and unplug the bitch.
And if there’s no wire, find the nearest cop.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on May 24, 2012