An Environmentalist for Life

6 08 2007

You would hear it around the office, the same way a rumor would spread around an elementary school’s playground. “He-Man was eating hot dogs in Madison Square Park, my friends brother saw him. I swear.” Now as much as I wanted to trust Fred from accounting’s friend’s brother, I just didn’t seem to see the likelihood that such a man existed.

hemansurvivor.jpg

Even those who were sure he existed couldn’t tell me who or what he was. All they could agree on was the fact that he was more than any normal man was; and that he had taken Manhattan as his home. With only this speculation as evidence, I felt I could brush off people’s warnings of staying out of Union Square Park at night. If I can move safely through the crack heads and hipsters, this so called He-Man would be a piece of cake.

How wrong I was.

To be frank, I arrived home 12 hours ago and it is only just now that I stop shaking and crying. Cold shower after cold shower couldn’t wash what I have seen from my mind. After contacting the police in vain (though they said I sounded crazy, I don’t think they wanted to be any closer to He-Man than the rest of us do) I found this website (findheman.com) and I know you will believe what I have seen.

Last night around 9pm, I left a bar down on W.13th St. and decided to walk home instead of spending the money on a cab. I mean it’s only 15 or so blocks to my apartment and it was a lovely moonlit night. As I hit Union Square I noticed a distinct absence of the before mentioned hipsters, usually clogging the area with their tight pants and Don Delillo novels. I brushed off the silence assuming Sufjan Stevens was playing a benefit concert in Brooklyn or Regina Spektor was playing at some bar in the village. But alas this was not the reason for their absence, like wild animals, hipsters have a sixth sense for avoiding predators, and He-Man is the greatest predator of all.

I still can’t rationalize why I decided to cut through the park instead of staying on the street, but what is done is done. As I walked through the park chills ran down my spine, something wasn’t right. As habit has it, I pulled out my cell phone, hoping to call a friend to show anyone or anything in the park that I was not alone or something.

As I pulled out the phone, something else fell out of my pocket. A wrapper from a snickers bar fell to the ground, reflecting the moonlight off its coated interior. I had eaten it earlier in the day to keep my sugar level up (I’m a diabetic). I went to pick it up, but just as I reached my hand to the ground, the wind kicked up, carrying the garbage into a near by bush.

Normally I am not one to litter, but I didn’t have the courage to venture into the bushes on a night like tonight. So I just kept walking. I felt bad about leaving it behind but it happens, right? Right?

Wrong. Now here is where things get scary.

Just as I reached the edge of the park, I heard a scream. No, it was more like a howl. Like a beast trapped in a hunter’s trap. I turned around, more out of jerk reaction rather than out of a sense of bravery. As I turned I saw him, it, He-Man. He was holding the wrapper in his hand as he let out another deafening howl.

I wanted to run by I was paralyzed by the sound. He began to walk towards me. I still couldn’t move. I felt like my heart was beating so hard it would break through my chest at any moment. I looked around for help but there was no one to be seen. Damn hipsters.

He-Man walked up to me slowly and just starred into my eyes. He didn’t need to say a word, I knew what I had done.

I had tainted his home, the isle of Manhattan. He-Man protected his environment as aggressively as he protected himself. If he was to continue to flourish on this island, if we all are, it must be kept clean.

As I took the wrapper from his hand, I began to weep. Like a little girl whose mother caught her stealing gum from a convenience store. I fell to the ground, swearing I’d never let it happen again… and I meant it too.

He-Man let this go on, I assume just to make sure I had truly learned my lesson and then he put his hand on my shoulder. I stopped crying instantly, feeling a sense of calm rush over me, and looked up at the man who had seen me do wrong and then so quickly forgiven me. Again, he need not say a word.

He-Man helped me to my feet and then turned around and headed south, from where he had come. He was gone as quickly as he had arrived. As I wiped the tears from my face and the dirt from my pants I begin to hear another sound. It was the off key strumming of a second hand guitar. They were back. He-Man was gone. And I was a changed man.

He-Man is real.

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