Wednesday, December 03, 2003

I gathered my groceries and got off the bus in a hurry, the heavy double plastic bags twisting from the handles, one perilously half-gripped. When I hit the sidewalk the wind blew the receipts out of the unfastened bag. Suddenly animate, they flew end over end into Madison Avenue, given over to queer forces that kept them intertwined even as they followed a butterfly course. I walked up the east side of the street and kept my eye on them in the middle.

For some reason I felt that without any particular effort I would soon cross their path again and pick them right back up.

I jaywalked across 104th Street as the receipts continued their halting progress. They darted left halfway up the block and emerged between two parked cars onto the sidewalk ahead of me. A gust lifted them up and blew them against the shuttered Checks Cashed place. They fell by the wall for a moment then drifted again away from me. Each time they rested I gained on them and just before the bodega I caught up.

I bent over, picked them up, crumpled them into a ball and dropped them in the trash can on the corner.