Monday, July 22, 2019

When The Sky Opens Up

“The ground is wet but we are not,” Katie texts me before I get off work, and so I leave my umbrella at my desk when I go.

The sky looks relatively clear while I walk to the subway, but by the time I get to my neighborhood, it has darkened in a very threatening way.

I almost make it home before the sky opens up, but fat, wet drops begin plopping all around about two blocks away, and then there’s nothing for it but to run.

And run I do through the sudden deluge as it begins to pour, but it doesn’t save me, so that when I get upstairs, Katie looks at my bedraggled, soaked self and says, in genuine surprise, “Is it raining?"

Sunday, July 21, 2019

Vaping

The MTA app on my phone, along with Google Maps, both say that the bus is approaching right now. But as I sit at the bus stop in the scorching summer sun I'm pretty sure I can see the bus they are referring to across the street from me, and it is very much parked.

I watch the bus for a good twenty minutes before I notice the guy sitting in one of the passenger seats, looking at his phone, and I can’t tell for sure, but I think he’s driver, sitting there just chilling out.

Then I see him pull something away from his mouth, and a thick, fat vape cloud billows out of his lungs, and for some reason the thought of my bus driver vaping away comfortably in an air-conditioned bus while I sit beneath a blazing furnace of sky in the middle of a heat way just fills me with rage.

Saturday, July 20, 2019

The Soundtrack Of Our Lives

Watching the movie Yesterday, which is about a young musician who wakes up from a cycling accident to find that he is the only person in the world who has ever heard of or heard the songs of The Beatles, and proceeds to pass their catalog off as his own.

It’s a good movie, buoyed by an amazing soundtrack, but the best part of it is its ability to create a space in which it’s possible to actually hear the Beatles music again as if for the first time.

I find myself remembering finding, at the tender age of twelve or so, an unlabeled cassette tape in my sister’s collection (where I stole all of my most important music) which had, on one side, Queen’s A Night At The Opera and on the other, The Beatles’s Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.

I hear those tunes again in my head now - the way they sounded like nothing I had ever heard before, the way they seemed to point a way forward to what I wanted to be, the kind of like I wanted to lead - and even though the movie isn’t as dramatic or intense as all that, I find tears streaming down my cheeks, and I cover my mouth with my napkin to make sure I don’t sob too loudly.

The Service Industry

“No, man, you gotta put the phone number on there,” he says sternly to the older Asian man behind the counter at the laundry. He stabs the laundry ticket with his finger, and repeats, “Put it on there.”

“'Cause people, they need to get their stuff back,” he says, with a sweeping gesture to take in all the old articles of clothing people have left behind over the years that are hanging from the ceiling and stacked on the shelves (nevermind that I personally know, having gone to this same laundry for years, that the previous owner sold the shop to the current owner twenty years ago on the condition that he leave all of the very old lost items exactly as they were when he bought the shop).

Still, after that interaction has ended, I still feel kind of bad going up to the counter to drop off my laundry and saying to that same older Asian man, “Please have this ready for me by eight o’clock today."

Friday, July 19, 2019

Where Else?

After Facebook throws up a “Six years ago today” post on Katie’s timeline, I go back in my blog to see what we were doing.

Turns out we went to Ikea, and go irritated with each other, and I snapped at her, and she snapped at me.

When I relate this to Katie, she looks at me incredulously. “You put that on the Internet?” she asks.

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Haunted

Nothing seems quite right - I’m hungry, but I don’t want to cook; tired, but I don’t want to sleep; feeling creative, but everything I make seems awful to me; my side of the room is messy, but I don’t want to pick up or clean, and I certainly feel guilty as Katie becomes industrious and starts picking up her side of the room.

I take a bag of garbage downstairs, drop it in the bin, and then continue through the vestibule to the outer door, where I stand on the stoop and watch the rain. The storm is supposedly the remnants of the hurricane that battered New Orleans earlier this month, but it still has a lot of energy and water in it, so it’s really coming down, sheets of rain against the streetlights, and the gutters are running like rivers.

I stand watching it, feeling uncomfortable in my own skin for the first time in ages; there’s only a few cars and a couple of delivery guys on e-bikes hurrying though the rain to their destinations, and I wonder if something that I thought was gone has returned.

DINKs

“So we’ve got four adults and a child coming,” I tell the hostess.

“Does the child need a high-chair?” she asks.

The child is four years old, so I don’t think so, but I text Katie, “Ask her parents if she needs a high chair.”

“I don’t really know how kids work,” I add.