2019-09-29 - A Musical Interlude


A random gathering of persons in Washington Square Park.

Log Info:

Storyteller: None
Date: Sun Sep 29 04:30:51 2019
Location: Washington Square Park

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Theme Song



Early in the evening, and Cain has his first of several days 'off shift'. Not feeling terribly like staying home he heads out to Washington Park, pretty much his favorite between the college campus and the fountain, pleasant and not often super crowded. Eyes of deep green are bright as he watches people, and he's brought his six-string with him tonight. Parked on a small hillside, he is tuning it up. "Hrm…I wonder if it is too soon to text…"

He's dressed in mildly distressed jeans, and an olive drab t-shirt, hair a bit mussed by wind and five o'clock shadow prominent on his cheeks.

Jimmy had been away from school for a little while, and he needs to catch back up. He's just come off evening classes, and he stops in at the nearby park — somewhere he can sit down and hit the books. He sits on a bench near Cain's hillside, in range for his people-watching; seeing him there, Jimmy gives him an upnod and a smile of welcome, before turning his attention back to the books. Woohoo, review time.

Sharon has been checking the feeding stations for ferals in the park. She works with a group that does trap/neuter/release but doesn't do the trapping herself. Instead she deal with other problems, like the scrawny mewing cat that has walked up to her, it's head stuck in the plastic rings that once held a sixpack of sodas or beer. Sharon sighs, her own cat-like tail swishing behind her. "Again? Little idiot." She kneels down, and the feral kitty comes closer, right up to her. Very carefully she takes the rings, stretching the plastic and untangling the cat. Once the cat is free, she pulls out a small pocket knife and cuts through all the plastic loops before putting the knife away and wandering over to the trash can to throw it out. The feral cat looks after her and chirps, then scampers off into the bushes.

There may not be a text sent, but maybe there's magic of another kind afoot. She'd run errands earlier, and was heading back to her place. Copper hued hair is down, spiraling loosely over the v-neck black t-shirt that doesn't quite meet her loose khaki cargos. Black Docs tread over the pavement as she hums along with the music playing in her ear buds. Rhiannon is more pondering dinner than direction, wondering if she should hit up the Spicy EMT for that take-out.

Amelie had been out for far more mundane reasons than many: she'd been buying groceries. Wrapped in her black dress, the young woman held an armload of a paper bag as she walked through the park humming to herself. Days like these were always a gift, a chance to take the day at a slower pace and not worry about any duties, clients or otherwise. As she walks however, her eyes sweep over the crowd and the passer's by…but that cat tail? Well, it sort of makes Sharon stand out a little more.

Tje up nod from Jimmy is returned with a grin. "I should totally text her, right?" He asks the other guy. Yes, he's got some nerves about it, which is probably amusing all things considered. Tuning done, he starts idly plucking at his guitar strings, to those who know RUSH, he's doing a fairly challenging piece from RUSH, 2112's overture. Specifically the part where the tragic hero of the piece is first discovering /his/ guitar. Of course it is only the instrumental part, but his execution is quite good despite the difficulty of the piece.

The cat-girl and her kitty rescue earns her a bright smile, and as of yet he's not noticed Amelie, nor the red headed fire fighter (she's out of his line of sight yet).

Jimmy smiles back at Cain. He's running low on information, but he does have certain rules of thumb. "Yes. Go ahead and text her. Be open, be honest — that's the number one most important thing. If you want to text her, then go ahead with it; don't hide that interest."

He, too, notices Sharon… though not just for the extra limb and odd colours. No, he sees how a stray cat just approaches her, without hesitation, gets something dealt with, and then just leaves. That's impressive, and it makes him blink, looking away from his books. And… well, seems this is a gathering of people. He closes his book up after all; he'll just have a late night later on, that's all.

He hops up to his feet to approach Sharon. "Hi, I just have to say… that was really something, how you handled that cat." He doesn't even seem to be looking at her tail. People are just people.

He spies Rhiannon and Amelie as well, nodding to them… but Rhiannon has earbuds in and Amelie seems to have her groceries to deal with, so he won't approach beyond that yet.

Sharon smiles, "Is a matter of trust. Knows will help, bring food, but not try to catch or hurt. Takes time, patience, and right body language. Humans hold self differently, move differently, often reads aggressive predator. Cats in awkward place in food chain, both predator and prey, so feral cats very cautious around large predators." Her speech is slightly odd, Pronunciation is dead perfect, no accent, but the word choice is a bit off. Her tail is tucked in and curled around her left leg… to most people she would seem cheerful and polite, but to someone who is fluent in how cats hold their tails, the tail reads as very cautious and wary.

Conversations are ongoing, but Amelie herself? She moves past the cat woman towards the cat herself. There's some light calling, a beckoning to the creature in French, but already it was moving away. Shame, but she shrugs her shoulders and makes to stand up. By the matter of simple movement, her path had taken her near the musical Cain as Jimmy had approached Sharon. She'd heard more than just his music it seemed, so the young woman clears her throat lightly.

"If I might suggest," she says lightly, "if it is a date you are deciding on? Did she say she wished to see you again at the end?" There's a smile, pause given in case she'd completely misread the situation. "If so? You should be the first to call."

Rhiannon taps away on her phone, pausing on the side of the walkway to finish something up. She will glance around, pausing at the purple fluffy tail. But then again, she sometimes has colorful wings, so she's not one to stare or throw stones.

Phone tucked back in her pocket, she'll whistle to herself as she moves back onto the walkway and further into the park.

Jimmy tilts his head, looking at Sharon. He may not know feline body language, but he has other edges when it comes to reading others. So he takes a half-step back, bringing himself farther from Sharon's personal space, and his hands hang neutrally at his sides. Nope, not here to be a threat. Nor to predate on anyone. "Hm. You say humans hold ourselves like aggressive predators. Could you be more specific about how, so I know what to avoid? I've heard that smiling in a way that shows teeth looks aggressive; what else is there?" Taking it as an opportunity to learn.

He notices Rhiannon pausing while looking in roughly his direction, and lifts a hand of greeting, a welcoming gesture; but if she's planning to keep going through the park, he won't interrupt her.

"You're both right. I totally should, the meeting was…interesting." Cain grins to Amelie as she offers her advice too, apparently not all /that/ shy after all, after all he's talking about this with complete strangers. He does watch as Jimmy engages the kitty whispering kitty girl though, and then stops playing to send a text off. «Hey Mack, Cain…was thinking of you and wondered if you'd like to meet at Washington Park?»

Rhi notices the wave, a puzzled look as she waves back a little awkwardly. People don't generally greet strangers in this city - though maybe he knows her from a scene of a fire or something. Or maybe he's not local, and still holding onto the friendlier ways of other cultures. At any rate, she's waved back, even offered a hint of the up-nod.

That's when her phone goes off, a little fire siren, that has her digging her phone out of her pocket to look. « Spicy. Are you following me, or something? I'm already there. :P » She will hold onto the phone, turning her head to look around.

Of course, Amelie didn't even know anyone's name, let alone the fact that Rhi was the mystery woman on the other end of the phone. Still though, when her advice is taken? It earns a smile from the French woman who takes the moment as an opportunity to sit herself down and reach into the bag she'd brought with her, pulling out a wrapped chocolate bar.

It was her day off, why not take a break in the park and indulge a little

Catseye says, "Is standing too close, making direct eye contact. Americans read lack of direct eye contact as dishonesty. Most animals, direct eye contact from stranger is threat or challenge. Even with friends, cats make direct eye contact briefly, blink or yawn, then look away again. More likely to look at tail or shoulders. Also tendency when talking to square up and face other person… Cats see as challenge or as being stalked. Is better to face off to side, keep cat in peripheral vision, and let it decide to approach."

"Really…?" Cain peers bemusedly at the reply text he gets, laughing softly. To Amelie and Jimmy, and that of course includes Sharon too since she's right there (and has super senses!). "…apparently she's right here already."

A grin to all assembled, and then fires off a reply text. «Oh, totally, I planted a purple tracer on you while you weren't looking! :D» And then another. «On the hill, just past the fountain as you face the main university complex…»

"There, now we'll see what happens." He smiles to Amelie, Jimmy and Sharon. "Cain McCormick."

Jimmy nods to Sharon, aah-ing with understanding. And he makes adjustments based on what she says: he turns his shoulders to face her at something more like a 45-degree angle, not so direct and confrontational. "I've heard the eye contact thing is common in Eastern cultures, too. It's better to look elsewhere." He glances around, out into the environment, or towards Sharon's forehead or hair. No, he does not *ahem* look downwards. "How's this?"

Hearing the fire siren makes his head snap around in that direction, and he even hunches forwards as if to leap into action… but no, it's just a phone, and so his over-reactivity makes him blush. The response to Cain's text makes Jimmy laugh, nodding his head. "What luck. And to think if you hadn't texted her just now, she might have passed by entirely. See? Openness is the best policy." He smiles back. "Jimmy. Jimmy Baxter."

«You have got to be kidding me. No, I don't mean about the tracer. » If someone can see both Cain and the redhead on the far side of the bush off to his side, they may put two and two together after her phone goes off again and she's texting back.
Booted feet move faster over pavement, as she heads towards the fountain…and about six feet before she sees Cain. "Spicy."

"Amelie," the woman offers, a gesture of greeting suggesting that she might have actually curtsied if it wasn't for the fact she was sitting down and about to be eating "And I wish you all the luck." Of course, it doesn't take long for the girl to be making her approach and the other woman shuffles along a little further on the bench to allow someone room to sit and takes a bite for herself. Jimmy, of course, gets a similar 'nod' of greeting.

Catseye relaxes a little, her tail uncoiling from around her legs, hanging now in a more neutral position, curved in a U shape, "Is better, yes. Some African cultures have even less eye contact than Eastern cultures. America… pushes hard to 'predator' extreme of behavior in many ways." She nods to the introductions going on. "Sharon Smith."

"Well, speak of or text the Devil and she appears." Cain quips as Rhiannon appears. "So…Rhiannon, meet my new coterie of friends I just made in the park - Amelie, Jimmy, and Sharon. Everyone, meet Rhiannon." He looks around the assembled. "So…anyone like to hear something? I do requests." He IS holding a guitar. And then he grins.

Jimmy grimaces to Sharon's comment, nodding his head. "In many ways, yes." There are many unkind things to think about Western culture. "So it's nice to learn those little details that go into avoiding the predatory behaviour. And it's nice to meet all of you." He smiles at Rhiannon… but doesn't tell her about the 'should I text her' dilemma, even though it was cute. He tilts his head, thoughtful of Cain's offer. "I think it's stereotypical to ask for Wonderwall at a time like this?"

Rhiannon looks around, nodding lightly as her cheeks lightly tinge a pinkish color. "So is this what you do when you're not saving lifes? Trying to score extra cash by busking in the park?" She'll tease Cain a bit, before she gives Jimmy a quizzical look. "I thought the standard request was Freebird."

"I thought it was…smoke on the water?" Amelie chimes in, accented tones carried on her words between bites of her sweet. Rhiannon and Shannon get a smile and that same greeting nod yet again before she turns her gaze back out towards the park itself with a smile. One truely did meet the strangest of people out and about in America.

Sharon chuckles softly at the requests. "Rather have something could sing… Pompeii by Bastille, or Nina cried Power by Hozier." She shrugs, "Not professional singer, just sing for fun. Have good memory for lyrics and emption… and singing easier than talking." Uses a different part of the brain for starters, and she doesn't have to think of how to arrange the words or try to figure out pronouns. "But play what is enjoyable."

Jimmy's eyebrow lifts at a comment from Rhiannon. "Saving lives, huh?" The question's for both, though he looks at Cain while he asks it. And then there's disagreement about just which song is most typical in 'random guy holding an acoustic guitar' circumstances, drawing a few laughs from Jimmy. Then Sharon mentions singing, and he oohs, looking between her and Cain. "I wouldn't mind hearing that. Cain, do you know any of those songs? So it's something you can play and she can sing."

"Actually, I rather like Wonderwall." Cain admits to Jimmy. And then to add to the pink coloring Rhi's cheeks. "And yes, by some crazy, random happenstance Rhiannon is the girl I was wondering if it was too soon to text." Because: brat, and…blushing is cute; therefore - use the brat to bring the blush! Simple.

"Freebird is also a good one as is Smoke on the Water, though that is probably better suited to an electric, I think it might be fun to try…" Wryly. "And I'm not busking, just being a rampant extrovert and hoping to entertain."

At Sharon's request list and with Jimmy's questions. "Oh, I'm an EMT…" He jerks a thumb towards Rhi. "…and SHE'S a firefighter."

He smiles then, and shifts to settle the guitar in his lap a bit as he launches into the opening chords of Nina Cried Power without a moment's hesitation.

The man's actually a fairly skilled guitarist.

There is a hint of deeper flush, a glare at Cain. "You were asking people if you should text me? I mean, really, Spicy. I would have thought you'd have a little more gumption on your own than asking strangers." She's totally hassling him now, arms crossing over her chest, settling her weight onto one leg, hip slightly angled.

Karoke can be humorous because, well, schadenfraude. Most people don't know song lyrics as well as they think they do, or their timing is off. Sharon actually knows the lyrics perfectly, and her timing is spot on. When she speaks, her tone tends to be neutral, or very carefully polite, and there are pauses when she searches for words or trying to arrange them correctly. When she sings, she doesn't have to worry about the words, and the emotion pours out. Hozier's performance is reverent, hopeful. Sharon's… isn't. It's raw, angry and full of pain. Hozier is lifting up those who protested and marched… The way Sharon sings it is a demand for action.

"Perhaps he is a little…shy…" Amelie offers, shrugging her shoulders and then pulling a handkerchief out of her pocket to wipe at her lips. A little overkill, but the woman shrugs and adjusts her glasses before making to stand from her sitting position. The music and Sharon's singing has her tapping her fingers, but odds are that she doesn't know the words…or is just too shy to sing!

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