Seeing The Invisible


kameron_icon.gif cecile_icon.gif lou_icon.gif

Scene Title Seeing the Invisible
Synopsis Perhaps with later regret, Kameron and Lou allow their eyes to focus in on one of New York's many homeless beggars.
Date January 13, 2009


Queens is the largest in area and the second most populous of the five boroughs of New York City. Located on the western portion of Long Island, Queens managed to avoid much of the physical ruin attributed to the Bomb. However, Queens on whole suffered from something far more significant in the wake of the explosion that tore apart New York — Economic crisis. With much of Queens relying on industrial productivity for its commerce, it was the mass exodus of many businesses from the New York area following the bomb that crippled the borough.

With refugees pouring in from the western portions of New York following the destruction of Midtown, Queens was inundated with homeless of all walks of life. Food shortages, coupled with the collapse of Queens business centers and the strain put on local police only furthered what would become one of the most embarassing mishandling of a crisis situation the city had ever seen. Weeks after the bomb hit, riots swept through New York by the panicked populace, this was felt most hard in Queens, where food riots ravaged the businesses that dared remain open. Shea Statium was used as temporary shelter for bomb refugees, and the riots that swept through Queens enveloped the stadium as well, resulting in a remarkable loss of life in the chaos.

Ever since, Queens has settled down from the turbulent weeks following the nuclear explosion. But while its scars may not be as physical as Midtowns are, Queens suffers just as the rest of New York does, under the shadow of that broken skyline to the west and the collapse of its social and economic centers. Queens is now a ghost of its former self, slowly struggling to recover from the damage done.

The sun hasn't quite dipped below the shattered and still crumbling skyline of New York City, but it's cold enough given the time of year and the weather. The people on the street for whatever reason move quickly from wherever they have come to wherever they are going. Lighted windows of storefronts and residences tempt at the warmth within. Outside in a dark doorway sits a woman in relative rags.

Her coarse hair falls on either side of her face, obscuring it along with the shadows she has tucked herself into. But she isn't undetectable, unless one simply has their eyes focused to not recognize one of New York's many bedraggled homeless. This one doesn't actively beg, accosting the passersby with a styrofoam cup and hounding them for change. No, this woman in the threadbare coat and fingerless gloves simply picks away a tune of presumably gypsy origin on the beat up guitar in her lap. After a few bars, she starts to sing. Her voice isn't bad, but it is plagued by the cold and Lord only knows what else, making it as ragged as the rest of her. But with this song, it fits.

"When I was a girl," the woman sings, "the moon was pearl - the sun a yellow gold. When I was a w'man, the wind blew cold - the hills were upside down."

Singing! And her without her violin to offer musical accompaniment. But that's just as well, she doesn't know the song, and it'd take a bit to get the melody right in her head. Still, into the chilly air of Queens approaches a newcomer - well she's actually been in the city for a little more than a year, so she's not really a -newcomer-. At the same time, it's the night hours that she prefers to move about. With her is a well-cared for Collie on a leash, leading the young lady along at a jaunty pace, almost prancing in his good mood.

The most peculiar part of the girl and her dog? The girl is wearing mirrored sunglasses. It's hardly necessary for them. Must be fashion for fashion's sake? Nonetheless, the young lady pauses at the sound of the singing, tilting her head to the side slightly, considering, and then the pair make their way - slowly - over towards the singing woman. Another one down on their luck? She doesn't interrupt the song though - that would be rude- Instead she waits patiently nearby, huddling in her heavy overcoat, for a break in the song so she can compliment the other.

"But now that I have gone from here there's no place I'd rather be than to float my chances on the tide, back in the good old world.

There is a pile of money sitting in what looks to be a hat of some sort, though it could be some other arrangement of cloth - who can tell in this light? As for the singer, she keeps her eyes downcast, not looking up when coins thrown in clink against the coins already there. Someone saw fit to give her a single dollar, but it is the lone piece of paper among the collection.

On October's last I'll fly back home, rolling down winding way. Scarecrows are all dressed in rags out at the edge of the field. I lay, and all I've got's a pocket full of flowers on my grave. Oh, but summer is gone - I remember it best back in the good old world.

It's not a long song, but when the woman with mahogany - the natural color of the wood, not the redder stain - skin lifts her eyes, she is not met with an applauding audience: only the hustle and bustle of the street, and…a young girl with sunglasses and a dog? And a violin case. "Scram, kid," the woman says in a scratchy, strained voice not that much unlike her song. "This is my spot." She reaches out one swaddled claw to snatch up the hat with the money, bringing it close to her chest while letting the guitar catch against her back on it's twine shoulder strap.

Kameron ca— wait, no, unless that thing was giving off a heat source, she wouldn't be able to tell in this light. "I'm aware of that," Kameron blushes, faintly embarassed at the mistake. She should have guessed that the woman might think she was here to take over, what with the instrument and all. Worse, she might have thought Kam was going to use her pup to chase her off. "I'm not here to play," she reaches into her pocket, "I'm here to pay. That song was lovely," she adds, since compliments aren't going to put food on the table.
She has a couple of dollars in her hand - tonight she can afford to be generous, considering on her harder months she's not much better off than Cecile is right now. Playing for your bread and butter - at least that's what she's assuming, as she offers the money.

Bread and derivatives thereof, at least. Cecile isn't much for butter, though she wouldn't turn it down if it became available. She eyes Kameron wearily still before she reaches out a free hand to accept the money. "Thank you," she says in a softer, more reserved but no less scratchy voice. Her other hand comes up, letting the hat fall into her lap, to make a fist that she coughs into. It is cold, after all, as it has been for months now. And, as always, the homeless population bears the brunt of it.

Truthfully, Kameron is a bit better off than most of the homeless, despite having no steady job. This mainly came from the funds on her parents side, which she did try to avoid touching, except when she absolutely needed to. This is why she can afford to be so generous with the money. She felt guilty that she had a nice apartment, clothes, and didn't have to struggle to find food for the night. It may be silly to feel guilty for it when she wasn't responsible for the state of New York, but there you go! "Have you been out here long?" It was freezing! Poor Cecile was goin to get sick - WAS sick, from the sound of that cough.

That cough turns into a hacking sort of laugh once Cecile has added the money to the rest of the stash. "Don't you worry about me, kid," she rasps, placing the hat in front of her again and taking the guitar back up in her hands. "I'm just the product of the proud work your family did way back." The shadows, emphasized by the wrinkles in her worn face, twist into a mockery of a smile. "Now, go pity someone else and get off my land." Is she nuts? Maybe. There is a tinge of alcohol in the air when she opens her mouth that much to speak that didn't come out as strongly when she sang, possibly given the angle of her head. But it is an undebatable presence, in any case.

That hacking cough sounds *awful*, and Kameron winces just at the sound of it. That *had* to hurt. But it's what Cecile goes on to ay that really confuses her - being a terribly terribly sheltered girl all of her life. "Kid?" Well, she might well be compared to Cecile, though whether that is a physical age or mental age remains to be seen. Not important in any case. "My … wha? Way back? What did my family ever do to you?" She thinks on this a moment, and can't dredge up a darn thing. As for the latter, "Your land? But.. but this is public proper—" Ooo, alcohol. Nasty stuff that.

See, this is why her folk always cautioned her against talking to strangers. The first one she does turns out to be a drunkie. A drunkie with a nice singing voice. She's probably going to use all that money to buy her hooch!

"This?" Cecile arches one dark eyebrow as she stares up at Kameron with disbelief. "This used to be a forest. This was land Natives were forced out of when people like your family came over to rape the land for it's resources." But, of course, no one wants to give money to an angry bum, so Cecile's voice, though angry, is kept at a low growl. "So thanks for trying to make up for it, but scram. I don't need your help, unless it's you going away."

… Well that's gratitude for ya! Maybe she should demand her money back! Well, no. She's just not that sort of person. If she were more confrontational she might get angry and ..and.. DO something. Yeah. Like kick sand at her. Being pretty easy going for the most part - and knowing that Cecile did have some very good points, Kameron only looks around when Queens is mentioned to have been a forest. "…"

Quite frankly, being snarled at by an angry, drunken indian with no hooch —er, fire water — is kind of intimidating, "Um…" she musters up the nerve to respond, though it comes out more as a hesitant squeak. 'Prince' the Collie doesn't seem to like this strange woman, from the way he's growling slightly. Mainly because of the way she was yelling though, and Kameron has a tight grip on his leash so, no 'Sic the sick, Fido!' tonight. "I.. I'm pretty sure my family didn't have anything to do with ra..r… rarr.." Good god she can't even -say- such a heinous word. "Doing that to the land. I mean, we've never even been to Queens before." Missing the point ENTIRELY. "Besides, I wasn't pitying anyone!" you were so. Totally were, Kam. DON'T LIE. "I was giving you money because I thought the singing was really nice, and you earned it." This whole speech would probably be more impressive if she wasn't cringing like she thought Cecile was going to lunge at her. Crazy drunk people do that. Sometimes. Okay rarely. Okay never, and she's just got a vivid imagination.

Lou scooches his way along the sidewalks, (a rather amusing look for a man as large as him) occasionally glancing back behind him. A right… A right… Another right… One more right and back where he started. One more glance. Anyone back there he recognizes? Would he recognize them? Dammit… Postpone the appointment, then go get thrown out of a damn bar. That was stupid, Lou. STUPID.

So busy is he at looking back behind him that he doesn't notice when he stumbles into the pair arguing over land-rape and such. Huh. nearly bumped that one. "'Scuse me," he offers in a slow, Southern drawl, ready to get moving himself.

"You're damned right I did!" Cecile finally raises her voice to a growl that tops the Collie's, but she then snaps her dark eyes to the dog. "Get out of here. Go. Go away now." There is a fear in her voice that wasn't there before, and the woman holds the guitar a little closer to her, as it it might shield her from the animal.

But but but..! "I.. I don't understand," Kameron stammers, letting out a startled yip when Lou almost bumps into the small gathering. "Oh! Sorry -" she hastily manages to Lou. She must be in his way. "Prince, stop it!" This to the dog, whose growl only rises in pitch when Cecile briefly growls back. "I'm really sorry," Kameron pulls on the leash, managing to get the Collie to calm down, "I don't know what I've done to upset you so. I mean, I don't - I've never taken advantage of the land. Back home I plainted daisies every week!" … missing.. the point… entirely… But she did plant daisies, that much is true. It also doesn't mean a darn bit of differnece in the grand scheme of things, ".. are you afraid of dogs?" She asks suddenly, taking a step back, "He's really usually a good boy." 'Scept when people were being all RRR and rar at her.
Lou pauses long enough to look between the two, completely befuddled by what's going on around him. "Uhhh…" he seems ready to interject something, but seems hesitant. Eventually the good-natured Southern boy seems to shine through. "Not that it's any o' my business, but it's a nice enough night out, I'm sure you two ladies can find some kinda common ground, ayuh?"

"Fuck off!" Cecile snaps at Lou, her face the epitome of the enraged and crazy indigent that WASPY mothers tell their little children not to make eye contact with. While Lou may think his interjection may serve some constructive purpose, Cecile is obviously in stark opposition to the idea. She stands, taking a bit of time to fold her burdened hat and stuff it in a pocket, being careful not to damage the guitar that has become her livelihood.

See? See? Lou completely understands how it should work! Kam turns her head towards the other, smiling, "Yes, of course, hat's whaIWHOAH!" Such a VIOLENT expletative causes her to leap backwards as if she had just been shot at. She may even knock right into the poor guy, if he isn't quick enough to side step to avoid collision with naive kids like her. She has Evolved cooties. UNREGISTERED Evolved cooties at that. "… you're not very nice.." Kameron notes to Cecile, though it comes out in such a squeak she may not even hear it. Don't let the evil witch get me, ma!~ She's goin to put a voodoo hex on Kammy, just watch!

That was probably about the worst two words Cecile could have thrown at him at that moment. His emotions have been all screwy the last little bit, and one little push is just enough to flip the switch from 'paranoia' right back to 'PISSED.' "You know what, you fuckin' snobby little twat? Why don't you shut your goddam mouth? I'm tryin' to be nice, and you just can't fuckin' deal with it? WHAT. THE. FUCK." Color is rising in his cheeks as he leans down to get right in Cecile's faceassuming she doesn't move or smack him in the face or somethinggranted, that second option doesn't seem to be a smart one right this moment.

But Cecile does neither. Thanks to Kameron stepping back, the ragged woman is given an escape hatch of sorts, she backs away and then spins, scrambling off down the street in about-dead shoes. She walks slightly bent, but it looks to be in an effort to protect her belongings or conserve heat and not a result of some structural abnormality. No, even cantankerous homeless minorities don't like confrontations that are that serious - unless they don't value their own hides.

Cornered crazy people get even more so. Kameron clutches Prince's leash tightly when the woman makes her escape, half-lunging, a move aborted when Kameron pulls back on the dog's leash again. "Ah.. sorry about that…" Kameron turns towards the other man, though she is admittedly hesitant. He did turn on Cecile like a rabid wolverine, after only one outburst from the woman! Still he DID try to find common ground, and that was at least extra cookie points to him. "She .. um. I think she was drunk.. not that that's really an excuse for her behavior, but.. you shouldn't let her get you down, mister."

Lou scowls at the fleeing woman, watching her leave for a moment before screaming out after her, "what the FUCK, lady?!" Rage… Fading. Ah. now there's that pesky guilt rearing its ugly head again. "I… uh… yeah. Sorry about yellin' an all…"

See it's situations like this that make her wonder if it wouldn't be better to confine herself to her apartment. AND NEVER LEAVE. "Ah—uh.." She nods slowly, "Well it's all right. I Mean, she wasn't exactly being all that civil… it wasn't right for her to be so .. so accusatory. " She knows her family never did any land raping! Slavery MAYBE, land raping, definitely not!

Lou nods slowly, still not quite in-sorts. "Yeah. I kinda overreacted, though. I mean…" He shakes his head, as if tyring to clear the cobwebs. "Lookit me… M'name's Lou," he concludes, offering a hand to shake as well.

Unfortunately Kammy's got a bit of a…situation where she can't really see the details of people's faces. (Which makes it good that she can pick out people's voices, or there'd be many a confusing situation). Still, she's got her manners, and when Lou offers his hand, she does the same, "Kameron. Nice to meet you, Lou," it'd be nicer if it had been without crazy lady rantings, but you can't have everything. "Sorry about the cut and run.. but I did come out to walk my dog, so I should get on with that." She adjusts the shades on the bridge of her nose, "But enjoy the rest of your day - it's cold, but it's still nice out."

January 13th: Just A Bad Day
January 13th: From Bad To...
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