ArchivedLogs:To Say Nothing of the Dog
|To Say Nothing of the Dog|
<NYC> Central Park North
Central Park North is slightly quieter than its southern counterpart, being further uptown and slightly out of the bustle of the City - insofar as one can escape the bustle of the City even here, in the acres of green and blue that make up Central Park. The reservoir is in the northern half, providing miles of jogging and biking trails along the clear water, as well as benches for people to sit and rest.
There's an odd three-way contest going down at the park. Ben, an uncollared dog, and a handful of Tau Kappas are going back and forth with a couple of frisbees. Or is Ben one of them? Well, he's not dressed the same, and he doesn't have a red plastic cup in his off hand, so either (a) the answer is no or (b) they're opting for a pretty low-key form of hazing.
Anette is taking her time, strolling casually through the park. She pauses a moment, watching the frat boys playing frisbee. Clearly enjoying the view, she decides to pick a random bench and makes herself comfortable. She leans back, relaxing and enjoying the fresh air and people watching.
By this point, Ben has about had his fill of the impromptu game. "All right, boy, take it back to them now? They probably got some sorority to go hit on, anyway." With that, he snaps it off into a longer arc off toward the tree line in the distance, and turns to settle down on the bench. Which is now occupied. "Oh, hey!" he adds, doing a double take as he puts the brakes on.
Anette looks up and smiles. "Hey." Despite the beautiful weather, she's wearing a leather coat but it's unzipped and hanging loosely across her shoulders. She gives on last glance to the frat boys before looking back up to Ben. "Looking for a place to sit?" she asks, glancing towards to the empty spot next to her.
That was not quite the response Ben expected to get. He'll take it, though, nodding and settling down. "I hope /somebody/ comes along and claims that mutt," he muses, "hate to think of the pound getting to him first." As he speaks, he takes a pair of earbuds and rolls up the cord, stuffing it into a pocket once he's done.
Anette watches as the dog runs off and plays on its on. "He's cute enough. Someone will take care of him." She leans back against the bench, "So, do you usually play with stray animals in Central Park?" Yeah, she's not much for small talk but the day is just so nice, she's willing to give it a shot.
Ben shakes his head. "Not usually. He showed up right when I got hit with a stray shot, and then y'know, dogs and frisbees, right? I was walking some but I needed a break." The Tekes are paying more attention to the dog now, keeping it out of immediate danger of being caught and whisked away as a stray. "There were some other guys checking him out, but they didn't find any ID. Nothing you can see, a tleast."
Anette nods slightly. "I wish I could afford to take care of a dog. A cat wouldn't be bad either. Really, any animal. I'd settle for an iguana at this point." She smiles slightly as she watches the Tekes play with the dog, the dog's tail waving 90mph. "Still...like I said, he's cute enough. Someone will take him home and claim him."
Ben turns and considers. "Yeah, you seem more like the cat type." Which means... what, exactly? Who knows, it's just a random instinct. "So what do you do for a living?" He's not the greatest at small talk either, he'll stick to the obvious things.
Anette shrugs slightly. "Whatever I can manage. Odd jobs here and there, mooching, that sort of thing. I wouldn't mind something reliable but, well, economy. I had considered going to college somewhere but...I wouldn't have exactly fit in." She suddenly turns to Ben and looks at him curiously. "What do you mean 'cat type'?
"Didn't stop me," Ben says. "It's the cheap place, but still--" He pauses again, and finally shrugs. "I don't know, it's just... Maybe it's an age thing? Like, you expect dog owners to be middle-aged couples. My mom and dad had a dog when I was little. Or maybe sorority girls with poodles."
Anette thinks a moment, then shrugs. "Hm, makes sense, I suppose. Anyway, I came up to the area for high school and just...never left. Even though financially, I probably should. I just really don't want to. I like it here. But what about you?"
Ben gestures again, this time toward the streets beyond the borders of the park. "I grew up here," he says. "But I know what you mean, money... It's been tough. Probably get tougher. Odd jobs are good, though, means you're working to find them." Mooching? He doesn't object to that idea, either.
Anette smiles. "Oh, that must be nice. And I'm not really trying that hard. I'm just doing what I can to scrape by. But I'm managing, somehow." Oh look, the dog found a squirrel. And she's still not very good at chitchat. "So what do you do for a living?"
Ben squirms a little in his seat, the more so because Anette is close enough to see exactly how awkward he feels. "Part-time at a supermarket. It's as exciting as it sounds like." Okay, it /could/ be worse, but.
Anette glances to Ben briefly, curious as it why he feels awkward. "Well, that's something. At least it pays the bills. Maybe. At least you have something." The dog has now chased the squirrel up a tree.
SQUIRREL! Also, dog chasing squirrel up tree, because the Tekes have politely but insistently retrieved their second frisbee. Also, Ben and Anette are sitting on a bench and talking. "I know, I know. It's just-- at some point I'll have to do something else, otherwise they'll just replace me with some new kid. So I gotta decide what 'something else' is."
Anette chuckles and nods her head. "Oh, don't I know it. Then again, I haven't found my first place in life, let alone my 'something else'. I believe I've mentioned I'm scraping by, by the seat of my pants." Damn, that dog is NOT giving up on that squirrel. "But I think I'm starting to find my place. Or at least friends. Only took...four years."
And then there is Nom. She's currently slipped her minder. Not through any particular intent to do so. No. She just sort of wandered away while they were distracted. And now she's creeping along, holding a mostly empty ice cream cone, while sneaking up on a squirrel. Because maybe that will be the next meal. The dog chasing that squirrel? It's got a serious case of envy from Nom. So close!
"Friends are good, yeah. But four years? That's tough..." Ben leans the crook of an elbow across the back of the bench. "And hey, don't worry, I think you'll do all right." Which he can totally figure out after talking with her for, what, maybe five minutes.
Anette chuckles slightly and shrugs. "I'm not usually easy to get along with. You've caught me on a good day. I'm also usually relatively quiet and I'm picky about those I consider 'friends'. So four years isn't too bad." She catches sight of Nom, watching the strange person curiously as they seem as obsessed with the squirrel as the dog.
Oh, wait... people that are somewhat more interesting than a squirrel she will MAYBE get to eat IF noone's asking. Right. She sidles over, and tattles on the dog,"Doggonnaeatthesquirrel." Because if the dog is STOPPED from eating it? Her chances increase. Dastardly! "Barkloudlots."
Ben scratches idly at the side of one ear. "If you say so." So has he passed her standards, or has she not started applying them yet? "I'm--" Before he can finish the introduction, though, he's distracted when Nom pipes up. "Huh. Maybe it's her dog?"
Anette looks up and watches the other person a moment. "No idea. Anyway, it's getting late and I need to be going. Pleasure meeting you." With that, she stands and makes her way down the path. Well that was interesting.
She watches the woman leave, then stares at the dog for a long moment, throwing her hands up,"Doggonnaeatsquirrel!" She sounds increasingly distressed. Still not to distressed to sit and chatter,"Me am nom. You am not know who own dog?" She starts chewing on her cone, looking exceptionally pleased with herself. "Ice cream am good."
"Yeah, y-- you too," Ben calls after Anette. She was nice! Oh well, he'll have to get her name next time. And speaking of: "No, he just ran up earlier," he explains to Nom. "Is that your squirrel?" he adds, momentarily at a loss for anything else.
"..." How to answer this question. Is it here squirrel? Does that mean he will assist her in acquiring it? Perhaps! People are friendly! They like to be helpful! So Nom points at said squirrel... And nods. "Yyyeeessss...? That my squirrel. Not dog squirrel." Right.
Um. Right. What was Ben thinking with that question, anyway? Next thing she'll be asking him about the price of car meat in China. Still, at a loss for anything better to do with the rest of his evening, he turns and squints at the pair of animals. "Okay, well, maybe if I grab the dog and then you can climb up and grab the squirrel?" He can probably pawn the dog off on the fraternity over there if it comes to that.
Nom the girl nods emphatically. Having asked the question, Ben can't unask it! Can he? Nom hops up, finishing off her cone, and then conspiratorily notes the him,"You grab dog, me get squirrel." She's rubbing her hands together happily as she approaches the tree. Maybe she can nom on the dog later. "You big help."
Ben thinks for a second, and snaps his fingers. "Hey, gimme that bit?" He gestures to the last little piece of Nom's cone? If it's already gone, he may have to impromise. "C'mere, boy," he calls out, "you don't want that squirrel anyway, do you?"
She has to think on it REEEAL hard. Giving up food to get MORE food? That's not good, right? Except... squirrel bigger than remaining cone... After assessing the economics of the situation, Nom passes over the piece of cone, and goes striding quietly toward the tree, giving the man a thumbs up.
The dog, on the other hand? Does not truck with this 'economics' business. Food is not hiding up a tree! "That's it, c'mon over this way..." Ben takes off at a casual lope, with the mutt in tow thanks to that bit of bait. C'mon, Nom, now's your chance!
She's damned fast. Economics or no, Nom is quick. She shimmies up the side of the tree as if it were a ladder and leaps the moment she sees the squirrel. Her hands clasp around the thing, right before she rolls to the ground, facing away from Ben. Success! Time to eat! "GOT IT!" She seems pleased.
Ben is about two thirds of the way over to the Tekes by that point. "Here you go!" he calls out, tossing the bit of cone off toward them. Sure enough, the dog runs that way and Ben turns and heads the other way, back toward the tree. "Seriously?" And here he thought he was just humoring her. Maybe she's a street performer or something.
*CRUNCH* That's the sound of her trying to wolf the damned thing down before Ben gets back to her. Nom stands as the man approaches, trying to rub the bits of blood and fur off on the ground (she's got a bit of squirrel on the corner of her mouth) which she's trying to wipe away. "Squirrel... uh... get away?" *BUUURRRP* Such an innocent face.
Innocent. Right. Uh huh. "Oh, that's terrible," Ben replies, now /seriously/ trying to humor her. If she'd do that to a random squirrel, would she do it to the dog, too? Would she do it to him? "Did you see which way it went?"
"Uuuuuh..." She looks around, then points at a completely different squirrel in another tree, and says,"Uuuum... there..." Nom feels SO smart right now. So very smart. She'd totally eat the dog if she thought it would be possible to get away with. "Um... We should get it." Because now she's hungry again. And this dude is helping her get food!
Was helping, rather. One mostly dead squirrel is plenty enough for Ben's stomach, thank you. "You're right, but you don't want it to get away again, do you? I should go get a bag or something. Yeah, I got a grocery bag back at my bike, I'll be right back!" He's not a particularly good liar, but fortunately he /does/ have his bike parked nearby and it /does/ have a grocery bag stuffed into the basket. The 'I'll be right back' part, okay, that part he just made up.
Luckily, Nom isn't particularly good at CATCHING lies. "Okay! You go get back. We maybe get all squirrels just make sure. Compare. Set ones not right squirrel free!" She gives a thumbs up to Ben, then approaches the foot of the spotted tree, bouncing from foot to foot eagerly.
Ben turns and offers a thumbs up in return, before setting off for the parking lot in earnest. And a bike cop if he can find one, but really, is a squirrel killer going to be high up on their list? More likely, he'll just look up the number for Animal Control and let them deal with it.