Monday, April 24, 2017

Don't Give Up

"You wanna sit?" the woman sitting in front of me on the subway asks the woman by the door. It's a crowded car, and as she struggles, child on her hip, through the morass to the proffered seat, I realize I'm right in the way and move further down the aisle.

But just as I let go of the pole, the train jerks forward, jolting me sideways. I flail at the pole, narrowly managing to grab it, but not before I bend in half at the waist like a "greater-than" symbol, and I can feel all my back and core muscles screeching like train brakes to haul me back upright, until I stand, panting slightly, the small of my back complaining bitterly, and watch the woman with the kid give up before she gets to the seat, and the woman who offered it shrug and sit back down.
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One year ago: Work Ethic
Two years ago: Hell is Other People
Three years ago: Start Over
Four years ago: Boring Dreams
Nine years ago: 4-24-08 I May Be One of Those People

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Inadequate

Just when I think my legs are going to fall off, when it seems like the uphill climb on this bridge will never end, we reach the apex near the middle of the river on our long bike ride back from Manhattan. We can see up and down the river, sunlight shimmering on the water, boats slowing splitting the waves into whitecapped wakes, and then, seemingly with no effort on our part, we start to sail down the other side, coasting towards terminal velocity down the span into Brooklyn.

Katie points out the guy in front of us riding his fat-tired beach cruiser.  He has pulled the front wheel off the ground in a wheelie, and so he rides down the bridge on only his back tire, while his front wheel twists and pull course corrections out of seemingly invisible currents, and I feel totally inadequate, riding around with both tires on the ground like a common peasant.
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One year ago: Rich People Medicine
Two years ago: Freedom/Invisibility
Three years ago: They're Not There

Oneness Into Oneness

Katie kneels on the marble border edging the pool. "That's how you lose your phone," she sings to herself as she balances it right at the waterline to try and photograph the ripples spreading out from the impact of each raindrop that falls from the sky.

"I really love the circles," she explains, coming back over to where I stand smiling and watching her. I imagine each drop as a life, falling from oneness of cloud into oneness of pool, descending in nothingness as it falls, until it resolves back into the whole, but when I try to explain it, it just sounds overwrought, and nothing like what I mean.
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One year ago: Where Does Depression Hurt?
Two years ago: Mistrust
Three years ago: Flags and Bags
Four years ago: Leaking Light

Friday, April 21, 2017

Making Your Person Laugh

His pale white skin still bears the pallor of winter, like he's been living under some kind of moist rock, but his girlfriend has a healthy tint of brown. She's smiling slyly at him as they walk by on the other side of the Starbucks window where I'm nursing this tea.

She says something out of one side of her mouth, checks for his reaction out of the corner of her eye. He throws his head back, mouth wide, laughing hard and big, and her now satisfied smile curls up the corners of her mouth a little bit more.
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One year ago: I'm Kinda the Worst
Two years ago: Fanboying
Four years ago: By the Time It's Here, It's Gone
Nine years ago: 4-21-08 Sinus redux

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Ah, Youth

Good looking guy with guitar in the subway station sings "I'm Only Sleeping" exactly opposite the meaning of the song. His voice careens wildly in and out of key as he yelps and hollers lyrics meant to be crooned.

A young woman about his age walks by and openly stares. He is really good-looking, it's true: long-ish, shaggy black hair and strong, straight jawlines and swooping cheekbones, a guitar covered in stickers, an open wound of a guitar case ready to take whatever spare change a friendly soul might feed it. 
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One year ago: Sleepy
Two years ago: Turn Down for What?
Three years ago: Keep Your Vestments On

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Stepping On My Line

I ride up just as he's unlocking his bike from the "1-Hour Parking 9 AM to 5 PM" sign by the grocery store. I even have my line all prepared: "Don't you love it when somebody's pulling out of a space just when you drive up?" which, while a little lame, is friendly enough to probably elicit a smile.

While I wait to say my line, I take him in: skinny muted gold chinos, soft white button down under an also skinny bomber jacket, no helmet, fashionably trimmed beard, meanwhile I'm sweaty and red-faced from my training ride in mountaineering pants, a grey jacket and a bright yellow helmet over what I'm sure is the same goofy expression Katie says I always get when I think I'm about to say something particularly clever.

He keeps his head down and barely makes eye contact as he scoots past me and away down the street, and I lock my bike up in silence with my line still rattling around in my head.
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One year ago: Platform Shoes
Two years ago: I Speak for the Trees
Three years ago: Flowers
Four years ago: Angry Dance

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Pause

It's my favorite song right now, or one of them anyway, but it's time to walk the dog, so I do a quick fade out by turning down the volume (to avoid the jarring disconnect of just hitting stop - it's a technique I learned from an old friend that I no longer speak to who fancied himself something of a DJ without a dancefloor), grab the leash and take Coco downstairs.

When I come back up, Katie looks at me thoughtfully. "You're perfectly willing to stop a movie in the middle, or a TV show, or a song, to go do something else, and I think there's a connection between that and your writing."

"You'd never stop in the middle of reading a book, or in the middle of yoga," she adds.
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One year ago: All's Well That Ends
Two years ago: The Cruel Tutelage of Pai Mei
Three years ago: Adultery?
Four years ago: You Make My Life Better
Nine years ago: 4-18-09 Making "Friends"