Wednesday, August 12, 2020

It Is At LEAST An Hour From BX to BK

We’re waiting in the subway station for the guy who’s going to buy a set of shelves we don’t need anymore. 

We took it apart (thanks IKEA!), loaded up the heavy glass shelves and the metal bits on a dolly, wheeled it down to the subway station (after confirming and re-confirming over the past hour what line he was taking down from the Bronx), even went so far as to bump the dolly down the subway station stairs one at a time so that he wouldn’t have to haul it down himself, and arrived at the station right at 1:00, like we agreed. 

Then Katie gets a text.

“He says, ‘Leaving the house now,’” she says, looking up from her phone.

Arched

 “You and I, we have the same,” she says, pointing at her eyebrow. She's indicating the way that one of her eyebrows grew so that it appeared as if she were arching it in disbelief, and how I have the same.

“People used to tell me to pluck it or comb it down, but I like it,” I reply.

“Well, during pandemic I just sort of...,” she waves her hands in the universally accepted gesture for *gives up*.

Monday, August 10, 2020

Smooth Jazz

Katie has been systematically rearranging the house for the past few weeks, and one of the side-effects of this is that we have a dining table again, after months in quarantine with the two of us eating dinner on the couch.

“I like this new way of eating dinner,” I tell Katie as we sip wine and eat to the sounds of smooth jazz playing on our smart speaker.

“Me too.”

“We gotta teach Alexa to play better music though,” I add.

Sunday, August 9, 2020

The Two Olivers

“I’m obligated to report every single dog I encounter at work to my wife, including breed, name, and disposition,” I say with my most serious tone to the initially bemused couple walking their quite sizable dog by the shoes.

But they quickly figure out the game and play along. “Oh, yes, of course, this is Oliver, and he’s a Labradoodle.”

“That’s my dog’s name too!” exclaims another couple with a much smaller poodle walking by, while both the Olivers strain at their respective leashes to try to sniff one another.

For Your Safety

 “What do you mean ‘for my safety’?” the older woman with the Russian accent says when I ask her, yet again, to please put her mask back on while we’re finding her shoes.

“Well, I don’t want you to get sick,” I explain.

“Why would I get sick?” she asks.

“Ma’am,” I say after a few seconds of boggling silence, “that is a loaded question."

Saturday, August 8, 2020

Schadenfreude?

I haven’t been outside all day, but for some reason I’m surprised to find it’s raining when I get off work. Rather than pause to put on my rainboots, though, I decide to risk it and walk in my shoes to the subway station.

At the end of the block, as I turn the corner to walk under the scaffolding that protects the outdoor diners that crowd the sidewalk, I step on the metal subway vents with rain-slick shoes and my feet slip right out from under me, landing me with a painful jolt on my hip.

I sit there for a moment, assessing the damage while the diners all stare at me blankly, then stand as steadily as I can, and a man seated with his family grins at me in a way I can’t quite interpret.

Thursday, August 6, 2020

The Music Of Horror

 “You know, today is the anniversary of bombing Hiroshima,” I tell Katie over the dulcet tones of the 80s light jazz we inadvertently asked our smart speaker to play during dinner.

And,” Katie adds, “it’s the date of the first execution by electrocution.”

“Kinda weird talking about this stuff with this playing,” I say, indicating the music.

“No, it scans."