Looking like a homeless person while going to buy bagels

Doing my part to help the cause and help bring about the rise of the Nietzschean Übermensch, I am happy to report that my wife and I recently celebrated the birth of our third child, a healthy baby girl.

While my wife is still recovering and helping care for our newborn at the hospital and our older girls are spending time with helpful grandparents, I am home alone to try to ready our apartment. I came home after spending a few days at the hospital and managed to get a good night’s sleep for the first time in several days.

Hungry for something to eat before starting down my long to-do list, I put on whatever clothes were convenient and at hand and headed out to buy a bagel.

I wear a camouflage baseball cap for practical purposes, one being that horrible sweat stains that would turn a solid-colored hat into some kind of grotesque greasy tie-dye won’t show up on a hat that is already a patchwork of colors. My Georgia Bulldogs hunting camouflage hat makes me look like a backwoods redneck compared to most of New York City, and I’m OK with that. I actually do go hunting and watch college football if that makes a difference.

I was also wearing olive drab cargo shorts. Cargo shorts are considered unfashionable, but I like having pockets to put things in. I put functionality over fashion every time. I’d rather look like a slob and not lose my cell phone or wallet. I also had on an olive drab t-shirt that depicts an American flag constructed from grenades and rifles. It was a gift from my brother, a former Marine.

It might also be worth noting that I’m wearing a plastic hospital bracelet that allows me to visit my wife and newborn in the hospital, and that because we had to be at the hospital very early in the morning and I stayed there through the first night and into the second, that I had not shaved or showered for three days.

Not until I started down the stairs of my building did I realized that I looked like a homeless person and probably smelled like one too. That it reached 85 degrees by 9 a.m. didn’t help my case either. I felt the rays of the sun baking my greasy skin like a fine glaze being put on a pastry.

I felt like a load of hot garbage and hoped that the good people at JK Bakery wouldn’t recoil in horror or ask me to leave their store. I go there often enough that they hopefully recognize me and realize that maybe I’ve had a rough couple of days. It’s one of my favorite stores in the neighborhood and one of the best bagel shops in New York – I’ll put it up against any other bagel store – they make the bagels there and it’s a no-nonsense place.

JK Bakery did not disappoint. Despite my looking like an escaped mental patient, they served me promptly and I was soon enjoying a delicious bagel. I bought a few extra to bring my wife.

One of the things I like best about New York is that even though it’s a place of high fashion, it’s also a place where people make it a point of pride not to give a rat’s ass what anyone thinks of them or their clothes. And it remains a place where tired fathers can occasionally enjoy a delicious bagel in peace.

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