Saturday, July 21, 2018

Boarding

“I’ve always hated the term ‘pre-boarding,’” Katie says, grimacing as the platinum flyers, the gold level status passengers, the medallion level customers, the whatevers all begin to board the plane before us.

“It’s just a scam to get people to believe that they’re special, to pay for the privilege of being ahead of you,” I reply.

“So if you have ‘Zone 1’ on your ticket, it’s actually, like, the third group to get on,” she says, pointing bitterly at the spots in front of the ticket taker’s desk where each group can line up for ‘Zone 1’ and so-on.

“‘Zone 4’ is actually just the bar next to the gate,” I say, and Katie laughs.


Thursday, July 19, 2018

Different Styles

After she double checks the address on the letter she’s sending and then reopens the door on the mailbox to see if it actually went down, Katie notices me smirking.

When she asks me about it, I explain, “Just, you and I do things totally differently.”

“You can’t get it back!” she says defensively. “It’s a federal offense!"

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

When You Have Enough Money to Not Own Anything

“Do these people have anything in their houses?” Katie asks as we walk down another side street. The air is calm and cool, and an almost half-moon hangs in the dusk. 

“It’s like they’re trying to figure out that balance between minimalism and having a really huge house,” I reply. “Minimalism is a privilege."

Storm’s Coming

“Well,” I think to myself, sitting in the kitchen after Katie has left, “I should jump on my bike and head over to the mall to buy those shoes.”

boom goes the sky, in a low-key, grumbly sort of way, and I look out the window to see that the horizon is blanketed in dark, angry looking clouds.

Within minutes, the world has gone three shades darker and more foreboding, and, as the wind begins to throw its weight around and whip the trees back and forth, I text Katie, “Yeah, I think I’m staying home."

Monday, July 16, 2018

Gone for the Summer

The boredom of a Monday night forces us outside, only to find oppressively quiet streets and thick, wet air that slow breezes only stir around to no relief.

“Want to walk toward the park?” I ask Katie. “It might be cooler.”

She thinks it over, maybe mulling the effort required to walk uphill, and finally agrees, so we walk up a side street under lights hazed by halos of moisture past silent homes, and peer in windows at empty kitchens and front halls; nobody home.

Multi Talented

“We should be a band!” my co-worker exclaims. The World Cup final is over, and elated or despondent fans are exiting the bars and examining the items we have for sale.

“You play a lot of instruments,” he continues, “and I can MC, and you,” he says to another of our co-workers, “what do you do?”

“I’m the one who tells you about yourself,” she says sardonically.

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Uninspired

This beat, which I’ve been working on for the last hour, changing the drum sounds, changing the accents, this beat... sucks. It’s too slow, or too spare, or just not very exciting, I’m not sure.

I take the headphones off (it continues playing, tinny and faint around my neck) and sigh deeply, and put my hands over my eyes. I can feel the lack of inspiration like a bandana wrapped tight around my head, and, with another sigh, hit stop, unplug the keyboard and USB interface, and begin wrapping up the cables.


Wait Lifting

The third box, the biggest one, is by far the heaviest yet, and I can feel the small of my back protesting faintly until I adjust to lift correctly using my legs.  The contents shift slightly, and I hear the mildly distressing clink and rustle of pulverized glass sifting across the inside of the cardboard.

I haul the box out the front of the store, and as I stomp into the late afternoon, I can hear my landlord behind me. “You don’t have to remember to go to the gym today,” he calls to my retreating back, and I give a grudging, somewhat forced laugh.

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Lillies Need Sunshine

The cold air of the grocery store chases me out into the mild late afternoon sunshine, and I breathe in the fragrant air. “Did you want to take the long way home?” I ask Katie. 

She looks around hesitantly for a second, then nods. We walk down the hill away from the one church, and toward the other, and the sun turns the bricks all creamy, and the lilies they planted in the churchyard look like they’re just about to open.

SOS

“Stay out here,” I say to Katie before heading back (for the second time) in to the aisle of tools at the local big-box hardware store. “I’ll come get you.”

Like before, there’s nobody in there to help me, and the aisles seem organized in some non-arbitrary but impenetrable fashion that costs me several minutes of wandering before I find what we’re looking for, and then a couple more minutes to dig my way back out.

“I was going to shoot up a flare,” I say when I find her standing next to the bored looking cashier, “but I don’t think they would have approved."

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Contradictions

“This is the knife that almost sliced my finger off right before our wedding,” I say as I use it to slice strawberries for dessert. Katie examines it.

“It’s still pretty dull,” she pronounces.

“It is,” I say, “but the problem is that it’s dull enough to slip, and sharp enough to nearly slice my finger off."

Monday, July 9, 2018

Finished

“He bought a brownstone, just a few blocks from where your parents stayed at that Air Bnb,” Katie says as we walk down Sixth Avenue in Brooklyn. Trees shade the sidewalk and a light breeze keeps us cool on this hot day.

“They paid, like, six million for it and still did a gut renovation on the thing,” she adds incredulously.

“If I pay six million dollars for something, that shit better be finished,” I say

Side Effects

Both Dan and I smell it at the same time: the unmistakeable, piney, pungent odor of weed drifting over the booth in this outdoor market. 

I peek my head around the corner to the alley where we suspect the smell is coming from, and as I do, a guy just sort of standing back there by himself looks up at me, like he’s been waiting for me to show. We lock eyes for a long second before I turn around and go back to the booth.

“Yeah, that guy’s high, totally paranoid,” I say to Dan when I return.

Saturday, July 7, 2018

For Display Only

“Hey,” I say to one of the other vendors who I know has been trained at the booth where I’m working today. “Did they ever teach you how to fold these scarves?”

“No, sorry,” she says, shrugging.

“‘Cause they’re double sided and I want to display both sides, but I’m pretty sure I’m gonna fuck it up,” I say as I walk away.

True Love

“I gotta get ready to go to work,” I say to Katie as I stand up from the couch. She stays where she is.

I’m already halfway down the hall when I hear her stand up too. “Fine, I’ve paused ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ because I love you,” she yell after me.

Friday, July 6, 2018

Allegedly

Katie turns the screen of her phone to me and swipes through another half-dozen photos of our recently deceased puppy. They’re in no particular order, so we watch her transition from relatively young and ridiculously photogenic, to older, slightly crooked, and ridiculously photogenic, and back again.

I’m still feeling a little sad and nostalgic when Katie takes back her phone, then turns it around again, to show me a picture of myself from two years ago: bald, somewhat sickly, thin and pale, clutching Katie’s teddy bear, about to go under the knife for surgery to remove a tumor the size of large grapefruit from my thigh.

“That’s weird,” I say, unable to completely convey how long ago that seems, how far away, as if it happened, not to someone else, but not at all, a rumor I might have heard, scarcely to be believed.

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Attitude

“Do not take a cab,” says the woman a few seats behind us on the train home from New Jersey. We’ve spent the Fourth of July celebrating the birthday of our dear friend, but a day out in the continuing heat wave has depleted us, leaving us with very little patience for entitled college students on their cellphones.

“You’ll get caught in firework traffic, and, just, Jesus are you crazy?” she continues, full-voiced.

“I hate her voice, but I like her attitude,” I tell Katie, who sighs, but nods.

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Heat Death of the Universe (NYC Edition)

“Do not go outside,” John, our roommate, intones dramatically as he flings open the front door and leaves it to slam to behind him. “It is so hot!”

“Pretty bad, huh?” I say mildly from the kitchen down the hall.

“We’re all going to die,” he says with finality.

Monday, July 2, 2018

Avocado Lottery

The avocados on the bottom shelf are rock hard, the ones on top squishy and disgusting. I touch a few of each to try and find the magic medium and snatch my hand back in horror and repulsion, which draws the attention of another shopper.

“I think there might be one... yes, here you go,” he says, pulling it out and offering it to me.

I take it, and then promptly try and give it back to him, but he demurs, and I put it in my bag with a sort of grateful incredulity, like someone found a winning lottery ticket and just... handed it to me.

Sunday, July 1, 2018

Those We Love

The heat is clearly getting to everyone, even if the train is air-conditioned, and people are just sort of barely tolerating one another in such close proximity, so I’m not exactly surprised when a woman makes a loud, startled, angry noise, and I look up from where I’m standing to see a pleasant, soft-eyed dog wearing a muzzle dance away behind his owner from a seated woman giving him the evil eye for having gotten just a little too close.

“Some people don’t like dogs,” Katie says with a shrug.

“Sure,” I say, “but touch my dog and I’ll end your fucking life.”

“Touch my dog and I’ll end your fucking life,” Katie says, nodding.