Cold Press with Caution

A born and raised New Yorker, I learned in the old days never to make eye contact and to always avoid even the smallest interaction…

Story by Teo J. Babini - Photos by Icarus Blake

Vital View Photo © Icarus Blake

I had just walked home from a two-hour game of highly competitive European football on the East River, probably my best defensive performance to date. And with skinned knee, sore body, and tired mind, I plopped down on the bench in front my building and took off each one of my near-death ASICS and sweat drenched socks, one at a time, to remove the little crumb rubber turf droppings from inside.

While doing this I noticed a rather large individual looming in my doorway. Not entering, nor exiting, just sort of hanging out, loitering if you will. Took my time with the barefoot action hoping to avoid any direct engagement.

A born and raised New Yorker, I learned in the old days never to make eye contact and to always avoid even the smallest interaction, because an undesirable situation can spawn rapidly from there. A BMW came screaming down the block and audibly scraped its undercarriage on the new speed bump that appeared when they repaved the street.

Tongue Taste Test Photo © Icarus Blake

“You saw how he messed up his car?” he called to me.

“Looks like he got what he deserved.” I responded, keeping my eyes trained on the holes in my shoes.

Then, to my delight, he picked up and walked down the block. Relieved, I hobbled toward the door to head upstairs, but just I reached it, he came marching over to me from a couple doors down. I braced myself for, at the very least, an awkward, unwanted encounter and potentially more, depending on how it went.

Danger Juice Photo ©Icarus Blake

“Yo, man, you look like you just got done running or something” he said casually handing me a seven dollar sealed bottle of Vital Force – raw non-dairy superfood ‘yogurt’. “Here. I work over there at Juice Press.” he continued and then started to walk away.

“Thanks, man!” I said trying to sound more grateful than stunned.

I gave him a dap and we entered our respective doors…

The drink made a fine to go to breakfast the next morning and I couldn’t help but feeling a little tinkling of faith restored in humanity.

2 Responses to “Cold Press with Caution”

  1. ebru says:

    This article brought a bright smile on my sulking face. I love the way it is written. Thanks for sharing Teo.

  2. Teo J. Babini says:

    Thank you, ladies. I appreciate the kind words.