Monday, August 29, 2016

Sold Her Out

After her evening walk, I sit on the stoop with the doge, telling stories to myself. 

I mean literally: I'm telling a story I'm thinking about doing in front of an audience and trying to find the shape of the thing while the dog, in blissful incomprehension, watches my mouth move until, satisfied no food is going to come out of it, she goes back to sniffing the sidewalk.

I come upon a particularly good line, and I'm going over it and over it, trying different ways of saying it, different inflections, until I notice a woman coming up the sidewalk, and she's trying not to stare curiously at me as she walks by.

"And that's why you need to be a better dog," I say to cover, and the dog looks up at me in shocked disbelief.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Common Sense

"My love," says Katie as she yet again moves a chair I've left in the middle of the room, "why do you move the farthest chair in the dining room all the way into the family room for your meditation?"

"It's the one with the most padding," I say, "and the other ones hurt my leg."

"And why don't you switch it with the other chair so that it's closer?"

I stare at her for minute before answering, saying, "Listen, if you're gonna say stuff like that I'm leaving."

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Before it's Cool (Cash)

We head out into the late summer afternoon, Katie and I, along streets already in shade from the low sinking sun, to pick up fresh vegetables for dinner.

At the light, behind us come three guys deep in conversation. "Any watch you know the name of isn't a rich man's watch, you know?" one of them says seriously.

They pass us, nodding importantly to themselves, but we're unable to hear the rest of their conversation over the sound of our eyes rolling so hard.

Friday, August 26, 2016

Superpowers

"Let us know if you have any questions before we get started," the radiation technician says as I come into the treatment suite.

"Yeah, how long you think before my radiation induced superpowers kick in?" I say. "I'm hoping for flight, but I'll settle for telepathy."

"Ooooh, that's a lot of responsibility," says the technician, "but it's usually about two weeks."

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Radiation Vibe

While Matchbox 20 plays insipidly over the speakers, the room-sized machine revolves its enormous, heavy, blind head around my supine, immobilized form, and tomorrow I know it will beam the stuff of my childhood nightmares into me: the invisible, odorless, tasteless, unfelt corruptor of DNA that is radiation.

Afterwards, when the nurse tells me that it'll be the same tomorrow, I try to make a joke to chase away my nerves, saying, "Oh, so all I have to do is show up and look pretty."

"You don't even have to look pretty," she says, laughing.

"I can't help it," I say distractedly.

The Nightmare of Eternal Return

The train hurtles through the darkness underground, and I think about a video I saw earlier in the day which reminded me how some people believe that, after death, the energy that makes up our consciousness becomes part of other beings' consciousnesses in something that could be called reincarnation, and that there truly is no death.

I know this is meant to be comforting, but I find it horrifying. The thought of living over and over, waking up every time to find you have forgotten everything you learned in the previous lifetime, having to go through the suffering ignorance of childhood and the crushing awkwardness of adolescence, not to mention the chance that you might be reincarnated poor, or in a war zone, or subject to any number of the other bum hands that have been dealt throughout the world and history, fills me with dread.

As my throat closes up in terror of the eternal recurrence of consciousness in a world of suffering, the train climbs out of the darkness and up on to Manhattan Bridge to cross over the sparkling East River beneath a sky of azure sunshine, and a piece of me relaxes, thinking it might not be so bad after all.


Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Still Friends

"If you knew about The Get Down and didn't tell me about it, I'm mad at you," I say to our roommate.

There's something that happens with a great piece of art where it gives you a boost, a swagger by association, the emotions buoying you up and putting some glitter and sparkle, some cool into even the most mundane actions, even if you know you're not really all that cool.

"You watched it again with us, though," I continue, "so we can still be friends."

"I just thought everybody knew about it!" she says, laughing.