Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Attempting To Create Meaning

"Existentialism is the idea that life is meaningless, and that we have to create any kind of meaning in life for ourselves," I explain.

"Sure, but to say that there's no reason for things to happen, that things happen for no reason at all, that's just stupid, and it's not true," she replies in exasperation.

A guy in torn pants holding what looks like an open but turned-off flip phone, with a hair cut that appears to have been administered by someone who didn't like him very much, walks by our seat on the stoop, and asks, or maybe demands, that we give him twenty dollars, or maybe he tries to explain to us that someone further up the block gave him twenty dollars, and we should definitely think about doing the same?

I finally settle on, "Sorry, we don't have any money," which seems to satisfy him, and he staggers off into the night.

Monday, March 30, 2020

No Thanks To You

We sit out on the stoop of our building with a blanket across our laps, Katie and I, taking in the cool night air and watching the few people out on a Sunday night, trying to make eye contact in a friendly way to express both that we mean no harm, and that we're grateful for the distance between us. Most of them return our friendliness, but one man walks by, stiff legged, and makes eye contact with Katie without changing expression.

"Not even a smile? Jeez!" she calls after his quickly retreating back in disgust.

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One year ago: Soul Landfill
Two years ago: Undead Letter Office
Three years ago: Truth Bomb
Four years ago: Spider Senses Tingling

Sunday, March 29, 2020

Thanks For Staying The Hell Away From Me

We brave the streets to get a quick walk in, looking for cherry trees almost in bloom, for buds fat with flowers about to burst out, but today is rain and slate gray skies, so the color will just have to wait.

A woman comes out of her house walking toward us, and to maintain a safe distance Katie and I step between the parked cars and walk out into the middle of the empty street. Seeing this, the woman smiles gratefully, and we make eye contact for just a second, acknowledging this weird form of politeness, our shared vulnerability.

After we've passed each other, Katie and I slip between the cars and back up onto the sidewalk to continue our walk, and we start to laugh.

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One year ago: No New Friends
Two years ago: Put Them At Ease
Three years ago: Rainy
Four years ago: Spring Cold
Five years ago: Ouija Doge
Six years ago: Good Intentions
Seven years ago: Final Day Before Vacation

Saturday, March 28, 2020

Unanswered Alarms

We sit on the stoop in an empty Brooklyn night. A guy bumping reggaeton pulls up in a cheap white car to the stop light half-a-block away, his joyful music lifting up into the quiet, and the only other person out turns to watch, like he's thinking about reporting it, but can't think to whom.

He stands there for a while after the car pulls away, then crosses in the middle of the block and walks on the other side of the street from us, pausing only to take a photo of the inside of the empty drop-off laundry place before ambling on.

The music from the car fades to be replaced by the faint sound of far away sirens, and Katie says, "Unanswered alarms."

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One year ago: Defending Joy
Two years ago: Consolation
Three years ago: The Golden Hour
Four years ago: Workout Buddy
Five years ago: Just Needed Permission
Six years ago: In The Way
Seven years ago: Raggedy
Twelve years ago: His and Hers

Friday, March 27, 2020

Antsy

Katie drags a chair down the hall past me into the bedroom where she's setting up a little makeshift office using a lap table and the cat's scratching post/perch.

"I'm trying not to confuse my lizard brain by working in bed," she explains.

A few hours later, I get up, tear the headphones off my head, the same loop I've been working on for the last hour still blaring in them, and start pacing around the bedroom.

When I explain to Katie that I'm getting antsy, she calmly says, "Go do one hundred jumping jacks," so I do.

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One year ago: Signs of Spring
Two years ago: Asking the Big Questions
Three years ago: Payola
Four years ago: Go Inside
Five years ago: A Snack-ish Friend In Need
Six years ago: Have You Seen This Man?
Seven years ago: The Mountain Goats In A Florida Cemetery
Twelve years ago: Why I Have Trouble Decorating

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Baking

Finally, in frustration, I use the artificial assistant on my phone to search, "Why is my dough still sticky." I have to use the assistant because my hands are almost entirely encrusted with tacky, glutinous dough which seems to stick to anything I touch.

The video that comes up is of very little help - a young, smiling, good-looking blond man telling me that it's all in the technique and that I just need to be more "nimble" with my kneading. I continue to knead, hoping that soon, if I just keep going, it'll all come together.

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One year ago: Bears Are Sneaky
Two years ago: Extrapolation
Three years ago: In The Moment
Four years ago: Fear Of Missing Out
Five years ago: Creation Can't Be Forced
Six years ago: Imaginary
Seven years ago: My Wife Is Very Charming
Nine years ago: White Light In Action

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Fresh Vs. Recycled Air

We sit on the stoop at 10:30 PM to get some fresh air and a view that isn’t our walls, watching the few cars and the occasional passers-by, with a blanket across our laps. Everyone mostly keeps their distance from us and from each other.

A plane flies overhead on its approach to La Guardia, and we silently watch it cross the sky, and then sit in silence for a few moments.

“The thought of being in a plane right now makes me very uncomfortable,” Katie says finally.

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One year ago: House of Sickness
Two years ago: After Party
Three years ago: Just Kids
Four years ago: Sometimes, I Am Seen As The Problem
Five years ago: Domestic Bliss
Six years ago: Hipster Vehicular Envy
Eight years ago: Then Who CAN You Tell?