stephen r king
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monday 12:40am october fourteenth two thousand two

once upon a time, I was in high school. I took art classes. about once a year, there would be a bus trip to a place called NEW YORK CITY. I enjoyed going to the big city. it was fun.

the bus usually dropped us off in front of the met, and we'd have to meet it there at the end of the day. it was on the steps of the met where we first came across Willie G, the Homeless Poet of New York. he was a friendly man. he recited his poetry to us, and gave us a printout of one of his poems. he predicted where we'd all go to college. he touched our hearts. we gave him some coins.

the next year, we went on another field trip to the city. and had to meet the bus by the met. sitting on the steps, a man came up to us, introducing himself as Willie G, the Poet of New York. to a bunch of upstate high school kids, this was the coolest thing. we bonded once again with Mr. Willie G, and were happy to see that the coins we gave him a year earlier had helped him drop the word "homeless" from his title.

why do I bring this up? crazy mid-twenties nostalgia? partially.

on saturday, paul came into town. he was riding in with our friend rob from tarrytown. he was taking metro north into grand central. I was sitting on a bench, waiting for their train to get in, when a man came up, sat next to me, and asked me a question.

"have you heard of Willie G, the Famous Poet of Central Park?"

here I was, nearly ten years later, now a resident of the city I once visited on field trips, sitting and talking with the one and only Willie G.

he recited one of his poems, which I bought a laminated copy of, and we talked about my high school memories of him on the steps of the met. I wished him luck and he was about to go on his way, when I said "could I get a picture?"

so here it is: