Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Rainy

I shelter under the awning in front of the closed store while Katie and her father stand expectantly a door down and wait for the portly guy in the t-shirt. Cold water drips from the vinyl and the spattering, misty rain keeps coming down, so I zip my jacket a little higher and shiver a little.

The proprietor goes back into his store, hooks the curved handle of a cheap black umbrella on one finger off a display in the front window of his store, and comes back out to hand it to Katie's dad.

Katie and her dad both try to hand the guy some money, but, after a short, friendly scuffle, dad ends up paying while Katie ruefully tucks a few bills back into her wallet, and then the three of us walk off into the rain.
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One year ago: Spring Cold
Two years ago: Ouija Doge
Three years ago: Good Intentions
Four years ago: Final Day Before Vacation

Monday, March 27, 2017

The Golden Hour

I sit with the dog on the stone church steps, across the street from the grocery store, and wait for Katie to come out with our dinner. An old, thin, white-haired man with glasses and a cigarette gives me a nod and sits on the wall a few yards away.

The  sun goes down, painting the buildings across the street a warm, buttery gold, and blueing the sky like gradually deepening water, while I watch people cross the street, back and forth, some of them talking on their phones, some carrying groceries or some heavier, invisible burden.

I suddenly find myself wondering if the white-haired guy is spying on me, for some reason, but when I turn to look at him, he's looking down at his phone, taking absent-minded pulls on his smoke and ignoring me entirely.
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One year ago: Workout Buddy
Two years ago: Just Needed Permission
Three years ago: In the Way
Four years ago: Raggedy
Nine years ago: His and Hers

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Payola

After that Ed Sheeran song comes on the radio again, that song about somebody's mother maybe? comes on yet again, too. A fine mist spatters the dirty windshield of the van, making the streetlights and stoplights shatter and sparkle into a million dusty, glittering shards.

"That is the second song I've heard twice in less than two hours," I tell Katie, who doesn't even look up from her phone.

"Pay to play," she says, disinterestedly.
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One year ago: Fear of Missing Out
Three years ago: Have You Seen This Man?


In the Moment

Right now, this very moment, my wife is lying next to me on the bed on her back, waiting for me to finish writing this. I promised her that I would rub a knot out of her shoulders as soon as I was done.

I'm writing this quickly so that I can fulfill my promise because I wasted a lot of time screwing around online while she was getting ready for bed instead of writing.

Don't worry, it's not like something super profound happened today, although I did ride my bike around the park a couple of times this afternoon, and there's this one hill, right before the entrance to Grand Army Plaza that is really steep and deadly, and the second time I just skipped it.
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One year ago: Fear of Missing Out
Two years ago: Creation Can't Be Forced
Three years ago: Imaginary
Four years ago: My Wife is Very Charming
Six years ago: 3/25/11 White Light in action

Saturday, March 25, 2017

After Party

We get off the train and walk down 7th Avenue toward home. She takes my hand and we walk awhile in silence.

Gravity seems extra heavy today, and each step is a slog through molasses. When she looks up at me with a worried expression, I say, "I think I'm just all talked out."
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One year ago: Just Kids
Two years ago: I Am Seen As the Problem
Three years ago: Domestic Bliss
Four years ago: Hipster Vehicular Envy

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Meet the New Boss

She makes the rounds to each of us in turn, her short, glossy black coat shining, her little jaw jutting out in a fetching underbite, tail wagging: first to Katie, then Ellen, then up on the chair to stand on John's chest, and finally up on the couch to wiggle on my lap before doing it all over again. With each round, she grows more insistent, washing our faces in tiny kisses and whining under her breath.

She gets back to me again, and looks searchingly into my eyes, her Chihuahua features soft and pleading, "What could you possibly want?" I whisper as she flops on her back for a belly rub.
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One year ago: That Ol' Devil Moon
Two years ago: Shake it Off
Three years ago: Home

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

A Thousand Cuts

In the middle of the meeting, my boss grabs her mug, which she usually keeps filled with water. It's empty though, and she puts it back down without skipping a beat, or even changing expression.

The guy from HR drones on, talking way in the back of his throat so that it sounds like he's trying to swallow his thoughts before they get out of his mouth. I know my boss has been having a long day, and for just an instant I can feel her momentary disappointment, so slight that it probably barely even registers for her, the thirst that is unassuageable, but easily forgettable; a small injustice, one of a thousand that everybody faces every day, tiny, but still a little painful, like a paper cut.
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One year ago: Manners
Two years ago: Delicate Gentlemen
Four years ago: At Least I Didn't Get My Initials Engraved On It