2007-02-11: Talking To Squirrels


Benjamin_icon.gif Jenny_icon.gif

Summary: Benjamin goes out into public to work on tying up loose ends, and Jenny finds him a rather jumpy sort.

Date It Happened: February 11th, 2007

Log Title Talking to Squirrels

Central Park

It's late afternoon, yet it seems Central Park's a popular spot for people regardless of the time… that is unless it's past dark. Then it's a not so nice of a place to be. Normally Benjamin is at work at this hour, wrapping up his day. However, he's now finding himself on medical leave, and not just due to his right arm being in a sling. But all that aside! Wrapped in his long coat against the chill wind, he's avoiding people for the most part and walking off along a less crowded path. Rather, he was walking until he stepped off the path and he's now… studying a squirrel on the ground. Head tilted slightly to the side, Ben's just watching it, almost as if expecting it to do something.

Jenny is currently wearing a spandex top and shorts, both sky-blue, along with socks and running shoes. It might not be the best clothes to wear at this time of year, but you'd be surprised how hot you can get when you're actively moving around a lot. And Jenny Hawking is definitely moving around a lot. The cold air feels good on her overly warm skin as she jogs along one of the paths at a fair speed, ponytail bobbing as she runs, eyes ahead, and breathing steady. She's clearly in very good shape.
She slows to a stop and kneels down as though to tie some laces that came undone, giving a glance to her right, where Benjamin is. She looks back to her shoe, then gets up from tieing the shoe that was already tied, and makes her way gradually across the grass, coming up behind the man in the long coat, and calling out once she's about a dozen feet away, "Cute, aren't they?"

Benjamin doesn't hear Jenny approaching. He's too busy focusing on the squirrel. Waiting for it to.. yawn.. wait.. do squirrels yawn? How can you tell if a squirrel is sleepy? He's not going to find out just this moment as the rodent scurries off when Jenny speaks. Benjamin is so easily startled these days, so much to his embarrassment, he yelps and jumps to the side. "Wha? Who? OH.. Squirrels.. yeah.. Cute," he gets out as he tries to get his heart back in his chest and to calm down the paranoia. (Is it paranoia if they ARE out to get you? Ahem.)

Jenny steps back herself at the yelp and jump, looking a bit surprised before smiling and blushing slightly. "Sorry. Should have announced myself a bit sooner. Didn't mean to startle you." She rubs her hands on her bare arms as the heat generated by running starts to dissipate. She nods in the direction the squirrel ran off and says, "Animals… People think humans are some kind of separate order of life, but if you spend enough time paying attention to both humans and animal life… You see human traits in animals, and animal traits in humans. And then you realize we're not really that different from each other after all."

She finishes up that little speech, and tilts her head to the side. Then she shakes her head and laughs lightly, before stepping forward to offer her hand. "My name's Jenny."

"No.. no.. it's okay.. It's all my fault really for.. I shouldn't have just been standing there," Benjamin says, only really half listening to the woman. "I never really thought about that before." When Jenny introduces herself, he looks down at the offered hand warily, as if he's afraid to reciprocate the polite gesture. Maybe he's just a germ-o-phobe. He gives himself a mental pep-talk before finally shaking the young woman's hand. "Benjamin.. nice to meet you."

Jenny shakes in return before retrieving her hand and asking, "If you don't mind me asking, what happened to your arm? Didn't get hurt in the subway, did you? Some of the people in there are so careless." She shakes her head. "I saw an old woman nearly crushed against the wall the other day, because some young toughs were in such a hurry to get off. Had to call 9-1-1 and everything." She puts her hands up as though so show she meant no offense, as she says, "You look tougher than an elderly lady, of course."

"Huh.. my arm? Oh no, not the subway. It was a.. I don't really want to talk about it. Sorry." Benjamin says, making sure to not get anywhere near invading personal bubblespace. In other words, he's maintaining a paranoid distance. "I think it's a given that you have to be brutal on the subway.. and I would hope that I at least look tougher than an old lady, so no offense taken." He looks over his shoulder, not the least bit surreptitious about it.

Jenny nods and says, "Ah, no problem. Didn't mean to pry." She notices the look over the shoulder, and glances around herself, looking for a sign of something out of the ordinary. Finally, her gaze returns to Benjamin. "Is there something wrong? If I was interrupting you in the middle of something I can just go back to running, and…" She trails off, as she backs up a bit, to give Benjamin some space. She's too friendly for her own good. This guy could be any sort of whacko, but she grew up in a friendly neighborhood in Pennsylvania, and isn't quite used to New York City's 'omg u tawk 2 me. i stab u!!!1!!11eleven' mentality yet.

Benjamin looks back at Jenny, then starts to laugh at himself. It's a shakey, relieved sort of laugh. "Sorry.. I'm so sorry.. it's.. okay really." Since he can't go into the truth of the matter, he tries to lighten up some. "My ex-wife has a vicious temper, and she ignores the restraining order."

Jenny nods and smiles, ahhing. "Makes sense you'd be cautious, then. Well, maybe if you're not alone she'll let you be?" She pauses to start jogging in place. "Whew! This is a fine outfit for when you're on the move, but once you stop, it gets cold >fast<. I might go get a cup of hot cocoa soon. If you'd like to join me, I'd be glad to have you. Though if you prefer the company of squirrels to humans, that makes sense too. It's not like they're going to talk back to you and tell you all their problems, or argue with you, or any of the things people do. If you can get one to sit still… They might just listen."

Suddenly, hearing that makes Benjamin feel a lot less crazy. "Huh? Oh.. OH!" He finally takes note of the not so winter friendly attire Jenny's got on. "I can't.. Sorry. I've got to go meet someone," he says absently as he checks his watch. Brows raise in some surprise at the time. ".. I was staring at that stupid squirrel for /that/ long??" He sighs and hangs his head some.

Nodding, Jenny says, "Oh, alright." When Benjamin notices the time and comments on staring at squirrels, she laughs. "Well, if you come here often, we might run into each other again, sometime. I'm trying to maintain my health, and the paths here make a good place to jog during the day. Just don't expect me to be here at night. I may not be a native New Yorker, but even I know better than that." The brunette nods sagely. "Well, it was nice meeting you, Benjamin."

Benjamin laughs some, "Yeah, people learn that real quick in this city." He nods to the mention of her jogging in the park regularly. "Alright. Take care, it was nice meeting you too. Next time, bring a coat or jacket with you." The man backs away some before turning around completely and walking off. As he walks, he looks around him, as if expecting to see someone following him.

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