Also at the fountain: four students licking at Rita’s (i.e. crappy) water ice, arguing about whether Picasso was cubist or modernist. Then whether or not Michelangelo was rich.
A very old, very neatly dressed man in handsome leather shoes and hearing aids sat in a plastic Adirondack chair near the fountain where I’m also sitting—we’re all a little tilted backward—after awhile he got up and methodically started fishing the coins out of the fountain, working his way around. He was small, and having trouble reaching the coins in the middle, above which tufts of water sputtered. I was afraid he would topple in, so I reached in with my long arms and scooped the coins towards him, leaving them within his reach. I forgot to roll my cuffs so they got wet. The day was warm. He did not acknowledge me but simply went on collecting till he had all the coins.