Sunday, October 14, 2018

Picking Up That Name You Dropped

The German man with the patrician mien and the dismissive attitude is rubbing me all kinds of the wrong way, but looking at one of Katie’s larger pieces, he brightens up a little, saying, “I know of an antique butterfly collection, thousands of specimens, that I’m trying to get rid of for a friend of mine. I offered it to Damien Hirst but he says he’s done with butterflies.”

“Isn’t he the one who carved up a shark?” I ask after I finish repressing the urge to roll my eyes all the way back into my skull. “Maybe he’ll go back to aquatic creatures."

Saturday, October 13, 2018

Is It, Though?

The woman who came into the booth wanting to fight about dead butterflies has calmed down, decided I’m friendly, and is now waxing philosophical.

“Isn’t it amazing,” she continues, “how nature makes everything so that is serves some greater purpose, like how butterflies are made for pollinating flowers?”

“It’s possible that what you’re seeing,” I say carefully, “instead of just one overarching intelligence, is really a lot of smaller intelligences, each with their own agenda, trying to exploit weaknesses and find a niche for themselves, and all of those sort of add up to a greater agenda, right?”

“That’s exactly what I mean,” she enthuses, her eyes shining.

Friday, October 12, 2018

The Dark Timeline

“And everybody on that show is best buds and they all support each other,” Katie says, referring to a TV show we watch called The Good Place, “and I follow them all on Instagram and Twitter and everything.”

“That’s the thing,” I says thoughtfully, pausing from shoveling food into my mouth for my late night after work meal. “As the timeline grows darker, the pockets of light will shine brighter.”

“Oh,” Katie says, “you’re not referring to the TV show, are you."

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Joy in Disdain

The woman who sells jewelry at the booth across the aisle from ours slides over with a conspiratorial look and says, "We see a lot of trends here, right? Well, there’s this thing where women grow their nails long and put a stone or a jewel on it, and I think it’s gross!”

“I really like people who have strong opinions on things,” I say, laughing.

“Oh yeah, I just really hate stuff,” she says, smiling.

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Then He Speaks

The long-haired man with the Tibetan mandala medallion and quartz crystal in necklaces around his neck and his decidedly more squarely dressed girlfriend don’t seem stoned. They gaze at the butterflies in Katie’s pieces with no more or less starry-eyed wonder than any of the hundreds of other people who come in to our booth drawn by the metallic blues and soft, matte purples and yellows, the shimmering teals and sharp crimsons.

But they sure do smell like weed.

“The energy in this booth is very good, very different from the rest of the market,” the man says with a serious face.

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Parallel Pests

Behind the counter in the booth, I see, to my horror, a mosquito. Springing into action, I slam my palms together, killing it instantly, and I grab a paper towel to wipe my hands.

Later that night, on the way home, I see, floating around by the advertisements above the seats, another mosquito, blatantly disregarding the fact that it’s October in New York, and mosquitos should be long dead by this time.

My first instinct is to send this one to hell just like I did his foul cousin, but then I imagine what I would look like, flailing about, clapping and smacking my hand into the walls of the subway car, and I content myself with glaring at him until he flies away to another part of the train.

Monday, October 8, 2018

Parellel Play

The couple coming toward me on the sidewalk stop at the unattached sink that somebody put out in front of their house, and pretend to wash their hands in the basin. They rub their palms beneath the non-existent faucet, and then flick non-existent water drops off their fingers as they walk away together laughing at their silliness.

Later, at the market, I wash my hands in the bathroom, singing the alphabet song absent-mindedly to myself. I remember the couple, and smile.