Sunday, October 23, 2016

(Another) Brief Encounter

The serpentine bas-relief carvings above the dormer windows on the old stone building look like they could be dragons, maybe, but I can't tell for sure from where I'm standing across the street.

The harder I look, the more elaborate and abstract they appear, and I fall further and further into their intricacies until I realize that I'm leaning so far forward that I've gotten severely off-balance, and for a brief second I have the stomach-dropping sensation that I'm about to fly off the curb straight up into the sky.

I catch myself and rock back on my heels until I'm sufficiently grounded again, only to find I'm looking into the window of a car parked next to me, where a large black man is holding up a chihuahua and babbling to it like it's a baby.

He sees me, seeing him, and we have a moment of eye contact before he gives me a huge, toothy grin so I can't help but smile back, and he goes back to cooing at his dog.

One year ago today: Doggie Facebook
Two years ago today: Candy (Sour)
Three years ago today (I wonder how long I had cancer?): Far Away
Six years ago today: 10-22-10 Fall arrives - we fight off the chill

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Here Come the Cold Jets

Dully glittering slivers of jet airplanes sharpen their bent wings across a stony sky.  They slice the firmament like almost invisible razors, high over Park Slope on approach to JFK.

The silhouette of a bird flaps heavily across the street, a controlled, directional tumble of feathers and muted noise just overhead.  The bird, body of bone and feather and beak, is something awkward and alive, while the jets just look obscenely linear, surgical and unnatural, the product of a mind of steel and wheels.
One year ago today: Mundane
Two years ago today: Sunset (Bitter)
Three years ago today: Magic is Just Spending More Time on Something Than Any Reasonable Person Would
Six years ago today: 10-21-10 The days are long, but the years are short

Thursday, October 20, 2016

More than a Server

The waitress's smile collapses as she remembers our earlier conversation."I know I said I would discount your meal because I forgot to put in the order," she says, stammering, "but, but I forgot to add the discount."

"It's okay," I say.

"I'm studying for a test right now, and my mind is...," she rolls her eyes up and clasps her hands at her heart.
One year ago today: Delayed
Two years ago today: Healthy Eating (Salt)
Three years ago today: Clowns are Nothing to Worry About

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Right of Way

The woman with the stroller at the bottom of the stairs finally gives up waiting for people to let her up and, hoisting contraption and toddler, starts climbing.

She shoves past her sole obstacle, a woman in a thin, sleeveless dress and wedges coming down the same stairs, using her kid and her stroller as a battering ram. Words are exchanged, but since I have headphones in, I am not privy to the content, though I can guess from the expression sleeveless dress has when she gets to the platform that they didn't compliment one another on their exquisite taste in fashion or infant conveyances.

Battle over, she stares up with dead, cold eyes at the retreating form of the woman with the stroller, like she's trying to memorize her features so she can recall them for the benefit of the prosecution on judgement day,

One year ago today: Accelerate Out of Danger
Two years ago today: Bitter/Sweet
Three years ago today: Saved

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

The Vegetarian Murderer

I smoothly grab a thick sheaf of papers off the bookshelf (the top page a letter from a collection agency, demanding payment for library fines), and fold it in half lengthwise. The fly on the lintel above the closet remains undisturbed, unaware, perhaps, of his impending doom.

But I have to move slowly, carefully, and I do, inching my way up until I'm poised above him, my hand with its bundle of pages ready to strike.

And with a resounding thwack, I bring the hammer down, leaving a thin, black smear on the paint, and a small, spindly mess of legs and wings on the paper, my heart singing it's own, thin, triumphant song: "Die, die, die."
One year ago today: Jealous Again
Two years ago today: A Metaphor For So-Called Post-Racial Discourse in America

Monday, October 17, 2016

Big Bird

Dusk, and the dog and I are out walking, both of us doing our own thing - her head down focusing on her business, me focused on her doing her business.

"I have to tell somebody," a voice says behind me, and I turn to find a blonde woman carrying an equally tow-headed child coming up to me. "There's a red-tailed hawk up on that air conditioner," she continues excitedly, pointing past my shoulder, and sure enough, there it perches, across the street on top of a window unit on the second floor, its breast feathers ruffling proudly in the wind.

"Well, you told the right person, 'cause I am super into stuff like this," I reply, while the dog noses around the light post, ignoring our enthusiasm.
Three years ago today: Is There a (Cat) Ghost in My House?


"Well, what address did you gave Uber?" Katie says, after the little icon of the car drives past our little blue dot on the Uber app.

"I just sent the location where we were," I say, and I cringe to hear the whining in my voice as she sighs and starts walking to the address it shows on my phone, a block away.

"I really don't understand why you're being so rigid," she says. I don't know how to explain that I feel like I spend my whole life being flexible, and adjusting for other people, and for once I want something to just work, dammit.
One year ago today: We'll Do it Live
Two years ago today: Another World
Three years ago today: Literally Full of It