Thursday, September 30, 2021
Wednesday, September 29, 2021
Friday, September 24, 2021
The subway car erupts with the wail of “Greensleeves,” but only the first verse, played at maximum volume on violin by a stringy, deeply tanned man with greasy, thinning hair.
When he reaches the end of the verse, rather than the song lifting into the soaring chorus, he simply starts over in a loop. He has some feel for music, it seems, holding certain notes longer in tension and speeding up as if tumbling down a hill in the descending phrases, but his overall ineptitude leaves the ends of notes trailing off, fraying out of tune, and the repetition begins to grate almost immediately.
His eyes are closed in (real or feigned) rapture, and the tendons on his skinny arms that protrude from the gaping sleeves of his dirty black oversized t-shirt strain with the emotion he is trying to convey through this one half-remembered phrase from an ancient song, until finally he stops for one blessed moment, before splitting the silence again with a ramshackle version of the theme from “The Godfather.”
Monday, September 20, 2021
Saturday, September 18, 2021
We leave the restaurant in that perfect state of sated and lightly tipsy, where the world has just a touch of sparkle around the edges, and you have no particular reason to say "no" to things, so you say "yes."
"Are we going the right way?" I ask, knowing we are, but wanting to see if Katie might have a better way.
"If we're going toward that we are," she replies, pointing at the multi-colored flashing lights spoking the ferris wheel a few blocks away in Little Italy.
Later, at the top of the same ferris wheel, as we look west across the island, with the crowds and noise and traffic far below us I remark, "Look, you can see America from here."
A few hours later, I learn that a co-worker's brother was shot three times in a random act of violence. He'll probably live, thank goodness, but I bet he's not worried if his life is meaningless.
Monday, September 13, 2021
Sunday, September 12, 2021
Friday, September 10, 2021
All the people who made this bridge upon which I cross the East River, the train, the clothes I wear, the shoes on my sore, weary feet, the music I pipe into my tired ears: none of them are on this train, but maybe I can let the people on this train stand in for the ones who have given something of themselves toward my comfort and pleasure. Maybe that’s how I puncture the swollen blister of my resentment I made at work today.
A very small girl with pigtails sitting in a stroller grins a messy grin around a half-eaten peanut butter and jelly sandwich, and shakes her head in amused annoyance at something her daddy just said to her, and I guess that will have to be enough.