Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Hugs

“And I really dedicated myself to her, to this place,” my friend at my part-time job says, sighing, “but now..., I just really need a break, physically and emotionally.”

“Can I give you a hug?” I say gently.

We hug, and I really concentrate to make sure I’m there, trying to give her a good hug, and she startles for a second, then relaxes.

When she steps back, she shakes her head and says, “Well, that was quite a jolt."

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

One Hand Not In My Pocket

The two delivery guys on their electric bikes are taking up the whole bike lane in front of me while they chat, and Katie is pedaling further and further away.

I don’t begrudge them their powered bicycles, since having to keep up with delivery orders on a regular bike seems like it might be unsustainable, physically.

But I don’t like being this far away from Katie when we’re riding together, so I dip out of the bike lane and into the car lane to pass these guys, and to their credit, they don’t speed up as I pass.

A car coming behind us honks at my intrusion into his lane, and I lift up my hand and flash the guy a peace sign before pulling back into my lane, to thank him for not running me down.

Sunday, August 19, 2018

From My Hand

The only dry spot at the flea market is a narrow alley where I sit on the ground to have lunch, so I’m not particularly surprised when three bedraggled little sparrows fly into the alley and land near me to rest.

Two of them notice me, and immediately fly off, but one sits for a while watching me, so I tear off a small piece of the tortilla I’m eating and hold it out.

The bird cocks its head, chirps concernedly, fixes me with a beady little eye, as if trying to gauge my intentions, but I just sit there without moving, and let the tortilla do the talking.

Finally, after a couple minutes of this, the bird hops over, takes the little bit of tortilla from between my fingers, and hops a few inches away to tear it to pieces and eat it.

Saturday, August 18, 2018

Thought About It

“I should really write today, too,” I think while I’m setting up to play guitar.

But that’s putting it too strongly, when what I really did was imagine the feel of the pen in my hand (it’s got two flat sides where my fingers fit to hold it), and the way the notebook lays a lopsided from the mementos I’ve stuffed into the back-cover pocket (maps of the bike paths where we stayed in Hilton Head, a program from a museum we visited in Miami Beach). I thought about the ink, blue on the off-white, lined paper, and the way it flowed like the pen was an extension of my hand.

I didn’t end up writing in my notebook today, though.

Friday, August 17, 2018

Locked Out of Their Air-BNB?

The night is heavy and humid, but a cool breeze blows from the park, so we decide to take a walk down a residential block.

The glow of streetlights are split by the leaves into obscure shade and harsh patches of light, so it’s a little hard to see, but up about half-a-block away, a man drags a suitcase out onto the sidewalk and then repeatedly, furiously kicks at it. He then stops and stands there, his hand up to his forehead.

By the time we get to him, he’s scrolling through his phone, standing next to the bag that was the object of his rage, while a woman (wife? girlfriend?) sits next to another bag on a small wall, not looking at him.


Thursday, August 16, 2018

A Good Idea For A Bad Mood

After my bad mood has worn off, and I’m mostly returned to sanity, Katie and I sit in the kitchen, exhausted by my fit. We’re figuring out dinner, when I notice the flowers that our roommate has purchased for the house arcing out of the vase on the kitchen table in a spray of purple and white.

“He bought flowers,” I tell Katie, stating the obvious, since both of us have been home all day.

“Yeah, and there’s some in the living room, too,” she says, while I smile at his kindness.


Alternative Theologies

Every time I come to Rockefeller Plaza (today it was for a temp gig), it catches me off guard: the statue of Atlas, hoisting the heavens (complete with astrological symbols) on his shoulders, directly across the street from St. Patrick’s cathedral. 

A little bit further away, just below where they put the huge tree every Christmas, they’ve got that enormous statue of Prometheus clad entirely in gold. It doesn’t get more pagan than that.

It’s like the Rockefellers were deliberately trolling the church, saying, “Look, we’re about the kind of gods that get us paid."