Thursday, April 13, 2006

On my way to work through north Central Park I was briefly blocked by a man and a woman, both elderly, but somehow clearly not a couple. They were well dressed and smoking cigarettes. They had the presence and bearing of people walking down the sidewalk to sneak a smoke in opera intermission.

Perhaps they were amicably divorced.

I gave the wrong directions to an attractive young woman on the Canal St. Uptown ACE.

"You can take this train to 59th St. and change there," I proclaimed. I didn't know what the fuck I was talking about. I was speaking to her over my shoulder as I entered the train. She froze in the doorway, shuddered with disgust, turned around and walked away. I turned to face what she had seen: a copious splatter of beige and red vomit on the floor beside the opposite door.

As the train lurched it occurred to me, she's in the car next door now. I can switch at Spring and right my wrong. I did so and found her sitting there, making me a face like, Wasn't that gross? I told her she would have to change earlier; this train doesn't go to 59th. At West 4th she looked over to me. I nodded. She nodded back queryingly. I nodded resolutely, urging her off the train with my head and eyes, and she disappeared out the door.

The kitchen with its mop and bucket, rickety dish rack, magnets. Its calendar and mail-strewn table. The tidy grove of bottles in the bar.