Saturday, March 28, 2015

Just Needed Permission

I wondered how long she had been watching me from across the train while I grooved to the music in my headphones. I'm pretty sure I had been dancing a little, maybe shaking my head, probably bouncing a bit.

She turned away, but not before I saw her eyes widen in surprise. Then, a minute or so later, I saw her put her hands up to her headphones and do a little rhythmic shake, which segued into a little impromptu dance to music I would never hear.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

A Snack-ish Friend in Need

"Do you have snacks?" I ask my friend. She works all the way on the other side of the building, so I've called her on her extension.

"Yes," she says, and before the word has even travelled at light speed through the phone, I'm halfway down the hall to her cubicle, where she's lain out an array of salty snacks, including Saltines, Goldfish Crackers, and those little rectangular chip-like things you get with soup from the Chinese takeout place. 

I grab a handful of the Goldfish, practically crying in gratitude, while she smiles like a Boy Scout who's just helped a little old lady across the street. 

Creation Can't Be Forced

When I follow my co-worker into the group office, they're playing "Uptown Funk" on the radio while all four of the women who share the room watch me, and I get the feeling I've been set up.

"Riana says that you like to dance to this song," one of them says expectantly.

"Ladies," I say, backing out of the room, "I am not a trained monkey, to dance for your pleasure."

"I dance when the spirit moves in me," I continue, making it out the door, "like the spirit of God moving across the face of the water."

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Sometimes, I am Seen as the Problem

She sees me coming, sees me see her, knows we'll pass each other. It's a quiet residential side street, a little after nine at night, lit fairly well, and I'm walking the dog. I'm also a pretty big guy, and it's just us.

She crosses over to the other side of the street in the middle of the block before she reaches me, and continues on her way.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Shake it Off

The dog squats in the glare of the streetlight on her final walk of the night, when one of the kids with the clipboards saunters up for the shakedown.

I demur to his obviously fake sales pitch for a "basketball team," and he stands for a moment without speaking, then steps into my personal space. "Why don't you just give me some money and we'll call it a night."

I check to see if the dog is done (and she is surely taking her sweet time tonight) and when she stands, I let her lead the way, saying, "Sorry, I've got nothing on me."

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Delicate Gentlemen

I take my toothbrush out of my mouth, spit into sink, and say, "I can't really tell if you're upset with me or not."

"You can't tell if I'm upset or not?" Katie says, looking stricken (she wasn't).

Later while discussing a very thin, fragile drinking glass, of which we have only the one, we agree that if we had more, we'd break them constantly.

"Only very elegant ladies, with no roommates, or very delicate gentlemen, also with no roommates, could own glasses like that," Katie says.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Go to Sleep

It's past midnight, and I'm in the kitchen, in the dark, standing in my boxers, filling a water bottle and looking out my back window. The kitchen looks out on the backyards of all the buildings on this block, each a little fenced in rectangle of paradise that I imagine united in summer into a single small park - nobody would probably go for it, though, or want to knock down the fences, even if they were into it.

Right now, though, everything is heavy and quiet and white with snow, and the sky is glowing with reflected light from Manhattan to the west. The air is full of an orange light like a fire about to go to sleep, and it lights up the backyards almost as bright as day.