nadira_icon.gif sable_icon.gif

Scene Title Float
Synopsis Two drifters meet in the Central Park Zoo.
Date June 26, 2010

Central Park

The Central Park Zoo.

       It's only half an hour before closing, and God alone knows how Sable managed to sneak her way into the zoo. Maybe security is lax. Maybe she talked her way in. Maybe the polar bears put in a good word for her. The end result is the same - though she's flat broke, the yellow eyed girl is leaning against a railing, caught in a staring contest with a snow monkey. The brown furred primate peers back at the girl with a sort of serenity, unmatched by Sable, who looks like she's sizing the critter up.

       "Why'd a gal like Jan care f'r an ugly mug like yers, monkey man?" is the question she poses to her wordless interlocutor. The creature reaches up to scratch its head. Apparently he's as puzzled as the girl.

       Another lingering figure in the zoo, Nadira's been taking her time as she moves from creature to creature, as if allowing them each just a few minutes of her time, like a Queen greeting her subjects. Only not literally, as Nadira's not quite any sort of Queen, much less one of animals. Still, they get her attention, drawing her from creature to creature til she stops to note someone who is not on exhibit, but equally as curious. She freezes for a moment, tilting her head as she watches the staring contest.

       "Yeah, yeah," Sable says, agreeing with whatever reply she either imagines or interprets (a thin line that) comes from the monkey, "It's a fair point, turned 'round. All's I can say is that I'm a better fuckin' judge of character, mebbe, when it comes t' makin' somethin' 'f somethin', than, like, when considerin' what sort of character it is I'm makin' it with, dig?"

       Which likely makes as much sense to the monkey as it does to anyone else within earshot. It's very unlikely, though, that Sable really thinks she's conversing with the critter. This is for her own benefit. She's sane enough to at least choose an object by which she can talk to herself. "So… dunno… I say somethin'? Howzit I know if it ain't just another way of turnin' the screw, so t' speak?" she snorts, "Though I'm surely only screwin' m'self…"

       It's about now that Sable turns her head, just to stretch her neck… and her eyes fall on Nadira. She didn't hear any of that, did she? The yellow eyed girl plays it cool enough, lifting a hand in greeting, grinning lopsidedly. She thumbs at the monkey, who has begun to groom himself. "Old friends," she explains, which isn't true, actually - she just met this monkey - "Catchin' up."

       Continuing her pace by picking it up right where she left off, Nadira makes her way over next to Sable to study the monkey. "Ah, I see. Your friend seems like quite the listener. You're blessed to have such friends to listen to you ramble." She leans in closer to study the creature, eyes scanning it as if trying to indeed find some indication that the monkey understood anything they were saying. "For the record, I don't think anyone else saw." She remarks, eyes not leaving the primate for the moment.

       "Well that's a fuckin' relief," Sable says, all sardonicism, "B'ecause I'd've hated if, like, a janitor or some school kid overheard my embarrassin' goddamn self-address. So glad that it's the beauty 'f some, like, exotic origin that gets t' remember me always as the crazy chick who talks t' monkeys." She turns back towards the monkey once more, gaze parallel to Nadira's, huffing breath in a barely-laugh. "F'r the record," she says, eyes cutting over to the other woman, "That wasn't actually me makin' a pass at y'. Not that I'm not fiercely inclined to, 'course. I'd be both lyin' and disrespectful t' suggest otherwise."

       Sable turns around, leaning back against the rail, head turning to face Nadira, "Where are you from, hon? I won't speak ill 'f American gals, but it's an intended compliment when I say they don't make 'em like you here."

       "Ah, but if you had walked in on me five minutes from now, I'd probably be the crazy chick talking to monkeys." Nadira murmurs, before her gaze darts to Sable. "For the record, I accept your compliment and will have to let my poor heart remember that it was no pass." She turns fully to face Sable, offering her a smile. "I'm from Egypt. My first trip to America and a permanent one." A slender hand is offered to Sable. "Nadira."

       "I'll pray yer heart mends," Sable says, with a laugh, already looking more comfortable, "F'r I'll not be one to cause it harm by any means." She takes her hand and, after maybe a split second's pause, shakes it firmly. "Sable," she says, "'t least that's what I've been callin' m'self since I arrived in this here city. I tell you, hon, New York is America surely, but it ain't like any other part of America. Still, fine a place to stick around as any, 's long as you don't mind the craziest shit imaginable happenin' every other goddamn month." Her brows lift, "Really got that sick 'f Egypt? Tell me, was it th' sand 'r the crocodiles that did it?" Oh no, the bad Egypt jokes have begun. "Or was it some other straw that broke y'r genuine Egyptian camel's back?"

       Nadira smiles a little at the bad jokes, shaking her head a little. "It was best for everyone that I left. I regret nothing, save perhaps leaving my family behind." She toys with the hem of her shirt for a moment. "I might be alright with crazy things happening. New York's a place with a bit of adventure to it. I like places with a bit of spirit like that. City's got to have a life to it to lure those most interesting into her embrace."

       "That's an answer and no answer, both," Sable says, "No answer, 'cause y' didn't tell me one damn thing 'bout what brought you here 'r drove y' forth. An answer, 'cause when someone gives a no answer like that, I know they ain't interested in total fuckin' strangers pokin' their noses into their business. So…" the yellow eyed girl lifts a hand to cover her nose, "Consider me as incurious as the dullest 'f hillbillies." Her hand drops, revealing a grin, "What is it you do, b'sides brightenin' the evenin's of lone zoogoers?"

       "A girl's got to have her secrets, after all." Nadira comments, though she's soon grinning as well. "Right now? I roam the streets of New York, finding all the nooks and crannies so I know her like my own. I'm not so good at that. Gotten lost twice already. Your transit is.. a little overwhelming but I'm sure I'll get it soon." There's a bit of a pause. "I'm a bartender by trade, though, if that's what you mean."

       Sable snaps her fingers. "Damn!" she exclaims, "'n' here I was hopin' I'd found a fellow vagrant sort. But shoulda known, dressed as nice as you are. Though… you got somewhere t' stay, dontcha?" There's a touch of concern in her voice, though is source quickly switches from Nadira's condition to her perception, "Er… again, that ain't me makin' a pass," her grin turns sheepish, "Old habits. 'n' in all honesty, y' got somewhere t' rest yer head in safety, right? 'til you start rakin' in tips from behind whatever bar's lucky 'nuff t' get y'?"

       "Got a motel room with my name on it til I'm on my feet. And I did manage to take some money here with me. So I'll be fine unless New York decides to mug me while I'm distracted." Nadira chuckles, hands going into the pockets of her jeans. "I'm touched by the concern, especially coming from someone I don't quite know. Another resident of New York told me not to trust a soul here and I haven't quite decided if I'm that pessimistic or not. I think I'll have to hit a few bars before I make that decision."

       Sable quirks her lips to one side. "I'd rather not, like, contradict that particular warnin', 'n' thus put yer fair self in any sort of danger," she says, "But it ain't so bad if y' know how t' tend t' yer surroundin's, sorta… figure out how things 'r' gonna go before they get there, y'know?" She cracks a smile, never too far from the surface, "As fer bein' concerned, hon, however ill it speaks of, like, the goodness 'f my goodness, I promise you if y' weren't as good lookin' as you are, I'd mebbe not be quite so. But mebbe I'm thinkin' too little 'f m'self. In any fuckin' case, this place bein' awful close to closin', 'n' me bein' awful curious as t' what sorta drinks 'r' fashionable in th' land of the Pharaohs 'n' all, I wonder," she tilts her head, "How's about we find one 'f those bars? This early's gotta be happy hour, which is good, 'cuz I've got little more th'n, like, bus fair."

       At the question of what drinks were popular in Egypt, Nadira laughs. "Most favor it straight. Hard alcohol on the rocks, no fun. When you start mixing with other things.. that's when things get interesting. But, Sable, as it seems you aren't quite so interested in mugging me as you are being company, how about I buy you a drink." She pauses. "Don't worry. Wasn't a pass. In case you were worried, that is."

       Sable sets a hand over her heart, "Oh Lord, thank goodness. I was worried 'bout what sort 'f depravity y' might have in mind. Y' know," she gives Nadira a serious look, "Y' shouldn't trust a soul here." She tips Nadira a wink, then rolls her shoulder in the direction of the polar bears, who may or may not have helped with her entry, "Comon', we gotta hit the bears on our way out. Simply wouldn't fuckin' do not to pay 'em a visit."

       "Wouldn't do not to pay them tribute as well. If you're going to put yourself out on display, after all, wouldn't be fair if not everyone got their fair look." Nadira states, a small smirk on her lips.

       Sable walks backwards, so as not to loose sight of Nadira as she answers. "I've got t' wonder just what we'd look like, eh, t' someone lookin' down at us? Who'd look the sight, the curiosity? The animals, all in their little, like, fake homes. Or us standin' around, gawkin'?"

       "Hey, if they were looking down at us, they'd be the ones gawking at us in /our/ houses with people staring at us too." Nadira laughs as she follows along. "I think we're all a little of both. Anyone looking down at us would have to know that we're a strange species, we humans." There's a slight pause at the word human, but she's still smiling.

       "It's a great procession of gawkery, then!" Sable exclaims, "And the question bein', who best to be? The first or last? The gawked ungawkin', or the gawkin' ungawked?" She turns, letting her hand run along the railing separating them from the submerged glass behind which the polar bears swim, when they're swimming. Right now, no dice. "Serious fuckin' question," she says, glancing over her shoulder at Nadira, "Somethin' 'bout our human nature." She adopts the same pause, though she's not totally sure what's meant by it. She's just playing along for now.

       "Nothing wrong with being gawked at. Even unwarranted, it still speaks that there's something that lures them in." Nadira peers down for the bears, frowning a little bit. "Makes you wonder how it is one cohesive species can be so different on such opposite ends. You can go from the most loving to the most hated and still somehow all of it be human."

       "Interestin'," Sable says, pausing as well, dipping her shoulders down and then craning her neck up to try and spot a bear. No luck, still. "So you'd rather be seen than see? Not that it's a fair fuckin' choice, y'know. But forced t' make it? Ah, but yer on t' somethin' bigger than what I've in mind," she shakes her head, "Don't ask me nothin' 'bout that. All I'll say is that that fine line they speak of, b'tween love 'n' hate? I dunno how often you cross from dark t' light, but light t' dark is much too fuckin' easy."

       And right then, a bear plunges into the water, a great white beast moving first quickly, then slowing as the water catches it, leaving it drifting serenely before them, its dark eyes regarding the woman with clear mammalian intelligence.

       "Assuming there was light to begin with. The climb from dark to light's a lot more of a slippery slope." Nadira comments, but then there's the bear. She moves forward, fingertips touching the glass as she watches the creature. "I envy it, in there. People always protest zoos, saying they're cruel, but we get to see something we wouldn't otherwise.. and just look at them. They glide like that, they just float…"

       "Can't say I know either whichway," Sable says, watching Nadira's reaction to the bear as much, if not more, than the bear itself. "I can't imagine what goes on in the heads of most fellow folks, let alone what goes on b'tween the ears 'f that critter. If it's happy, bless it - few enough are. If it ain't," she shrugs, "I hope it plots a darin' fuckin' escape. That'd be something t' see, all on its own."

       "I don't think I can get in the heads of many people and understand them, much less a bear, but.. I hope it doesn't. As much as I love the daring.. I can't say it's so bad in there. It's safer than it'd be out here.. and just look at it go." Nadira's fingertips trace the glass lightly before she pulls her hand back. "Sorry, I'm rambling now, aren't I?"

       Sable smiles, "Nice t' have someone else take care 'f the ramblin' for me, actually," she says, "'n' I think you look and sound a fair sight better than I do when I'm at it, f'r all my years of practice."

       "I'm good at rambling, it's just usually on paper." Nadira pats her back pocket where the hardcover of a small notebook can be seen. "Guess you're just lucky enough to play paper tonight, huh? Usually you'd have to get me pretty drunk first to ramble like this. Then again, New York is a strange city."

       "Aw, well," Sable says, "I must just have some sorta intoxicatin' effect, now mustn't I?" Her eyes dart down to the notebook. "Poet, then? 'r', like, novelist?"

       That gets a grin /and/ a laugh. "A novelist, no. I like to scribble thoughts, just things that drift through, things I see, things I hear. Brought a whole suitcase of one's I've filled. I suppose you could call me a poet, though I'm not sure I'd consider my writings much of anything but scribbles." Nadira pulls the notebook out for a moment, thumbing the pages. "I'm better at pouring than I am at poems."

"Poets don't always know they're poets, hon," Sable says, sagely, "Read me somethin', if y' will. I'm a musician, so mebbe I c'n act as somethin' like a judge as t' poetry 'r at least the, like, lyricism 'f whatcha got there," she taps her forehead and smiles, "By my honor I'll be kind 'bout it, so fear no harshness or, like, reproval 'r nothin'."

There's a skeptical look from Nadira, her fingers still thumbing pages before she pulls back the elastic strap, opening the book to flip through. "It's.. more like poetic prose, I guess." There's a stern look. "No laughing. This one's special."

Peering at the book, Nadira begins to read, "You can’t feel it like I do, to know where it rests and where it waits, wanting to be free. When it’s free, how joyful it moves, pushing past obstacles—it never has to stop because something is in its way. Do you know what it’s like, to flow like that? You can’t imagine it, it has to be experienced. You float and move and it’s effortless, weightless. You wear at things until they are smooth, things worthy of being touched. It’s satisfying to feel it move like that and to know that such a flighty creature belongs to me."

Sable's appreciation for a new thing, when thoughtful, always looks like slight upset. It comes in the crease of her brows, and a look that is both fixed and far away. Both searching Nadira for hints of performance, additions to the mere words, and set upon the words as abstracts, the concepts they evoke. Though, as said, from the outside it just looks like she's maybe little bothered.

But the impression is fleeting. Her brow smoothes and she nods, "If it ain't poetry," she says, "Poetry's missin' out. Would I be insultin' y' if I asked what y' speak of? I feel like I know it, but I can't give it name, y'know?"

"I suppose it's a riddle, in a way." Nadira tilts her head as she looks at Sable. "It's the same stuff our majestic friend's gliding through." The elastic band is shut over the notebook and it's returned to a pocket. "You're a lucky one. Normally these words never escape their pages. You're very convincing, Sable."

"One thing I've learned, hon," Sable says, with that same almost-sage tone, "Is that y' c'n get most anythin' if y' want it bad enough. 'course, I'm still learnin' 'bout how sometimes wantin' somethin' ain't exactly th' best reason t' go 'n' take it. Still," she hooks her thumbs through her belt loops, "I'm havin' no second thoughts 'bout that drink y' promised me."

And right on time, the zoo intercom buzzes into life, a woman's voice informing the visitors that the zoo will be closing in five minutes, and to make their way towards the exit.

"Well, if that ain't a sign," Sable says, grinning, "What the hell is, eh?"

Nadira muses on that, giving a slow nod. "Then drinks it is. Maybe if we're lucky I can get us some for free." She offers a sly wink. "Now /that/ would be a sign." She states, moving for the exit.

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