Monday, November 30, 2020
Saturday, November 28, 2020
Friday, November 27, 2020
There’s a sound like a grumbling whine. “Is that the cat?” Katie asks.
“I think it was your stomach,” I say, looking up from my phone.
“No, I think she’s having a dream,” she insists, getting up, which wakes the cat, who begins licking her fur forcefully as if to chase away the phantoms.
Wednesday, November 25, 2020
Tuesday, November 24, 2020
Monday, November 23, 2020
Sunday, November 22, 2020
Saturday, November 21, 2020
Friday, November 20, 2020
We’re watching random music videos on YouTube, because it’s that kind of night. HAIM does a cover of Fleetwood Mac’s “Oh Well,” there’s a mashup up of thirty or so songs from the year 1979 strung together in a single video by a group called The Hood Internet. Then, I see a video for Prince doing a live cover of Led Zeppelin’s “Whole Lotta Love” and I immediately click.
“I would have bet every dollar I had that you wouldn’t be able to pass that video without watching it,” Katie says.
Thursday, November 19, 2020
A restless night with what feels like a pulled hamstring leads to me lying in bed for longer than usual after I awaken.
I’m thumbing through my phone when Katie comes in with a thoughtful look on her face. “Let me see your knees,” she says.
I obligingly throw off the covers and she examines my legs for a minute before she points at my left knee, pronouncing, “No, that ones definitely bigger."
Tuesday, November 17, 2020
Monday, November 16, 2020
Sunday, November 15, 2020
Saturday, November 14, 2020
“It was mid-December, I was on the Upper West Side in a cafe with a women I thought I was in love with,” I tell my customer. "It was about midnight, and it started to snow, those huge, slow flakes coming down, and I looked out the window into the night and just thought, ‘I love New York.’”
“It’s funny you should say that,” she replies, her eyes shining. “Because I met a guy I thought I loved when I first moved here, and we did all the New York-y things you do, and I thought ‘Ooooh, I’m falling in love with him,’ but really, I realized I was falling in love with the city!"
Friday, November 13, 2020
Wednesday, November 11, 2020
Tuesday, November 10, 2020
Monday, November 9, 2020
“The receipt you have there for Customer Owned Goods is all you need to reclaim your shoes after they’ve been stretched,” I tell her.
“Could you please bring me the original receipt anyway?” she asks apologetically.
After I’ve fetched it and given it to her, I brush aside her apologies, saying, “I appreciate people who plan ahead and like to have contingency plans, like my wife. I sometimes say that she likes to wear belt and suspenders."
Sunday, November 8, 2020
I’m standing watching the escalator for customers when my friend Ben taps me on the shoulder. He’s holding up his phone, screen towards me, and it reads “Biden: 279,” as he says, “It’s over.”
My knees get kinda week and I lean over, palms down on the table, tears in my eyes. He kindly pats me on the back and walks away.
Saturday, November 7, 2020
The guy who has been across the street from our apartment yelling incoherently most of the night has disappeared by the time I take the garbage down to the curb for pickup. The night is cool but not cold, and I pause on the top step in front of my building while a couple passes walking their dog, who sniffs the pile of trash with evident interest before being pulled away.
Later, the shouting man has returned, and Katie and I turn off the light in our front room overlooking the street to watch him. Though his shouting seems aggressive, and I certain wouldn’t like to meet him in his current state, he doesn’t seem to be harming anyone, so we stand in the window while he stalks up and down the sidewalk, yelling aggrievedly about handcuffs and death.
Friday, November 6, 2020
Thursday, November 5, 2020
While the businesses surrounding the winter market are boarding up in an excess of caution as we count votes in the presidential election, another vendor comes up to ask about whether we feel safe leaving our inventory in the booth.
“I’m sure it will be fine,” I tell her. “There won’t be, like, real unrest unless Trump tries to steal the election, plus, not that I like cops, but there are plenty of police around.”
She looks confused, and I worry I may have overstepped, so I add, “You know, there are just a lot of cops around, so people probably won’t try anything."
Wednesday, November 4, 2020
Tuesday, November 3, 2020
What started as “well I might be a little late to work” has rapidly become “oh I am definitely going to be very late,” because here we are, all of us on this Q train, stopped on the Manhattan Bridge.
I am sitting at the very front of the train, in the seat right next to the conductor’s cabin, where a sign on the door admonishes me to “Keep your distance,” though I have no idea where I would go, when I hear, from inside the cabin, a loud disturbance.
Then the door to the conductor’s cabin opens and out of it, like a clown car, come numerous hard-hatted, safety-vested track workers, way more that should fit into such a small space, all carrying various pieces of equipment and joking with one another in a sort of relieved way about how they’re glad that’s over.
Finally, the last one comes out and says to the others, “Okay, ready to do it again?"
Sunday, November 1, 2020
My friend at work stops in the middle of our conversation, points at the ground, and says, matter-of-factly, “Stinkbug.”
Thus ensues a bit of running around which culminates in me carrying said stink bug, who is now very confused, in a plastic cup up the elevator and out the front door of the store to the curb, where he is dumped unceremoniously in the rain.
There is some discussion on my return to the shoe floor as to whether we really saved him, per se, but we all finally agree that, though he’ll probably die outside, at least he’ll die in his “natural” habitat.
When I relate this story to Katie later that night, she muses, “You should have compared it to Disneyworld."