Sunday, June 24, 2018

Mom Is Independent

After helping my mother to stand up from the bench outside the Botanical Gardens, the stranger says, “If my mama was here and knew that I didn’t help, I woulda got a smack.” He mimes whacking his own wrist.

I nod in agreement as my mother and father make their way to the curb where the car will soon be waiting. “Kinda the same, except my mom would prefer I not help her,” I say, laughing.

Saturday, June 23, 2018

Midsummer Lights

The wine sloshing around in my veins as I walk home from my parents’ Air B’n’B makes me pleasantly sleepy, even though there’s still a tint of light left in the sky. We stroll up the hill to our block, passing beneath trees and looking in windows as we pass the houses, and I’m thinking about my upcoming birthday.

Ahead in the dim, twilight shade, a single, tiny green light hovers and flits for a moment and disappears. “Firefly,” I say to Katie, pointing to the space where it was a moment ago, but it’s already gone.

Philosophy

The SUV from North Carolina in front of us is riding the brakes all the way down the West Side Highway, and our driver keeps trying to pass, only to find himself back behind him again when the flow of traffic changes.

“My last business was in cosmetics,” he says after trying to pass again, “but I made a purchase for thirty thousand dollars and the buyer ran off with my money.”

From the back seat I can see him shrug as he continues, “The bank said there was no way to trace him, and I wasn’t even the first person to report him, but everything happens for a reason, so what can you do?”

“Very philosophical,” my mother says thoughtfully.


Thursday, June 21, 2018

Young Married Couples

“I was 190 pounds when we first married, a real horse,” my father says. “Resting heart rate around fifty, so when we’d go to to sleep, my breathing would be about the same as my heart rate, so it’d be really slow.”

“When your mom would try to match my breathing, she’d have to wake me up because she was suffocating,” he continues.

“I nearly died!” she exclaims.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

What We Think Is Funny

The video our friend sends us of the car burning in the back of the box truck outside our subway station is spectacular - flames leaping high, ashes swirling, the whole thing - and he advises us that the station is full of smoke, maybe to take another way home.

But when we get back to the station from our movie, everything seems to be under control, except somebody has put one of those tiny conical air fresheners you sometimes see in gas station bathrooms at the top of the stairs.

Out on the street, though, the smoldering remains sits sullen in a puddle of sooty water, and the air reeks of smoke and burnt chemicals, causing me to remark, “I can feel myself getting cancer just standing here and breathing.”

“Again!” says Katie cheerfully.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

One Hundred Twenty-Five Steps

I sit up from where I’m writing. “Jesus, I don’t think I left the house today,” I say.

“That’s always a fun realization,” Katie says, slipping a t-shirt over her head as she readies for bed. “Probably only clocked about a hundred and twenty-five steps, too, but, to be fair, we were only up for around twelve hours,” she adds as she heads into the kitchen to make tomorrow’s coffee.

Called On Account Of

The Brooklyn Cyclones are ahead by five runs, which is rare enough that we're all avoiding remarking on it. Superstition.

"I believe they can win," says Pete as he finishes his margarita.

"Well, now you've done it," I say, and it starts to rain.