Thursday, August 21, 2014

The Way "Cranky" Works

"Well, you said you were kind of cranky earlier," Katie says. "Are you still?"

"Wait, so I totally misread that? You're not irritated at me?"

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Like Usual

One of the two kids slouching by the subway door chooses the moment when we're delayed in the tunnel to switch on the (presumably bluetooth) speaker in his backpack and play the shitty hip-hop he's been saving for just this occasion.

It's after work, everybody's tired, nobody wants to hear this crap, and I find myself shaking with rage at the rudeness of it. I want to step up, talk to them, "Forgot your headphones, huh?" I envision pulling out my own bluetooth speaker (I know exactly where it is on the shelf at home), cranking up some blast beats or, better yet, some Carly Rae Jepsen.

Instead, I just shake my head, plug in my headphones, give them a dirty look, like everybody else, silently seething at them until they get off at Atlantic Avenue and I continue my ride home.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Existential

As I get older (is there anything more boring than that phrase: "As I get older?" Wisdom is presumed to attend to the process, to be imparted to the reader, but it seems no more likely than those monkeys with their typewriters banging out Shakespeare: i.e., possible, but unlikely) I start to feel the passing days with greater urgency, and with that urgency, the sense that I have wasted something precious.

Today, I played "Card Wars," advancing into the top 10 of my bracket, cleaned the kitchen (only to promptly dirty it again), washed some dishes, ate dinner with my wife, drank a couple glasses of wine, read a not-insignificant portion of the internet, attended to a few tasks that needed doing at work, thought about music and writing, thought about how time is passing, thought about how little I've accomplished in this life, and felt bad about that. 

Earlier, on the walk from the train to my home, I watched a dog with three legs hop gamely down the sidewalk after his owner, a look of happiness on his little doggy face as he enjoyed the late afternoon sunshine, and I thought, "What does it all mean?"

Monday, August 18, 2014

4 People/4 Seasons

He walks with spine ramrod straight, his face composed, his tidy, slate grey suit immaculately tailored. 

She leans forward, her mouth pursed, steps quick and forceful in high heels, skirt flouncing with each step as if in a breeze.

He strolls, eyes at half mast, t-shirt and jeans, no socks, tan ankles peeking out from the cuffs, each step as if he'd no particular place to go and all day to get there.

She is moving steadily through the crowd, but nothing seems to touch her, her long dress flowing, her bearing regal, carrying some unseen season inside her: a sunset, a stillness that the city does not know. 

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Vanity

"I'm home, and my friend's with me!" our roommate says. I'm wandering around the house in just my shorts, picking up before bed.

"Sorry, you caught me with my shirt off," I say, trying to be casual while I run to the bedroom to get something to cover up.

"Aw, you spend so much time looking in mirrors at your pecs, I'm sure you wanted them to catch you," Katie says later with a smile.

sketch 8/16

This is a sketchbook, in some ways. Still lifes and drawings from life, keeping the pencils sharp and the eye keen.

A little girl balances on the low stone wall that surrounds the church, walking her pink sandals toe-heel like a balance beam while her mother holds her outstretched hand and keeps the concern from her eyes.

We eat fried green tomatoes for dinner, watching a movie, while somewhere nearby, a saxophone wails in the streets, just like our own private noir movie.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Quiet Kids

The kid with the bike and the safety-cone orange doo-rag gets on the train at our door, while his friends, including the kid on the skateboard, get on one door down the car. They weren't super talkative on the platform, which is good - usually kids in a group on a platform spend a lot of energy being loud, trying to impress each other, freak out the squares, and it can be a little obnoxious.

But these kids seem relatively quiet, until one of them, the kid with the bike, starts gesturing grandly, but in a focused way, to the kid with the skateboard, who gestures back, and it quickly becomes apparent that they're signing to each other. Soon the whole lot of them are signing, silently holding animated conversations the length of the car, making jokes and joshing around, just kids, while one of their number grins and dribbles a basketball on the floor of the train, the rubbery, slightly metallic sound of the ball bouncing loud in the otherwise quiet of the subway.