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West Houston Street

He was standing on the corner with a stern expression on his face.
"Did you bring the money?" he asked.
"What money?" I wondered.
He looked me over for a moment.
"Sorry, I thought you were someone else," he said. "They promised to bring the money, should've been here ages ago."
He fidgeted by the wall. He stretched a little and yawned.
"Yeah, promises, promises!" he grumbled.
"Who was supposed to bring you money? And why?" I asked boldly.
"What's it to you? Well, all right, it was supposed to be… something like an offering. They used to bring offerings to the gods, didn't they?"
"And are you a god?"
"No, I'm not a god, I'm an icon. A modern sphinx. You see all those big sphinxes around Manhattan? People are supposed to bring them offerings at night."
He laughed bitterly.
"But as you see, it doesn't always work."