Sunday, December 29, 2013

We walked along the Promenade and watched Manhattan, aswarm with helicopters. Jackie kept running away to hide from her cousin, behind a concrete wall. I worried that she would keep hiding there after no one looked for her. It was heartbreaking to turn the corner and see her in the shadows, a little crouched, waiting, ready to wait forever maybe.

On the platform later on, in a rush, we weren’t sure where this train was going. We needed downtown. Sara asked a couple times as I straddled the threshold. No answer. The train had the ordinary number of passengers, arrayed in clusters here and there. One was sleeping. Another, a woman, stared at us blankly. The doors were convulsing. We had to decide. We entered.

“Where is this train going?” I asked harshly. Angrily. As though it even mattered now.

“Downtown,” she replied calmly.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

There’s a yawning entrance to the basement stairs in the sidewalk outside Dizzy’s Diner, a few steps away from the twenty-five-cent rocking dinosaur. Positioned just so every parent well yelp with anguish as their toddler scampers up, teetering as she breathlessly contemplates the spotted yellow toy.

I examined it today. The space from the opening to the first step is too great, as though the sidewalk were once a foot lower. You see a wall of what, limestone? Concrete? Whatever the fuck the inside of a New York City street is made of. You see it along the steps on either side, vaguely striated, like every year had made another layer.

The metal doors, those corrugated iron doors that cover all these stairs, that bow a little every time you walk on them when they’re closed, making you wonder whether you’re about to lose your life—they’re always open at Dizzy’s nowadays. Like the guys can’t be bothered to shut it when they’re done. I walked to the edge and peered down. Nothing.

Friday, December 27, 2013

In the crowd around Rockefeller Center I kept imagining someone would get irate and snap at us, and give me justification to respond in kind. No one did. Everyone was patient and civil. Someone tapped me on the elbow as I walked away from the tree, staring idiotically at my screen. Who? What?! I asked inside my mind. It was a lovely lady pointing out that my sunglasses had fallen on the ground a few paces away. I thanked her profusely. Another lady picked them up and handed them to me. We live in a better world than I imagine.

Sunday, December 22, 2013


the few remaining vehicles of the

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Eerie day at work. It was slow; it seemed maybe I'd cross paths with no one, just shuffle to the coffee machine, the men's room, my desk, and back around again until it was time to dress back up for the frigid cold and go.

Then a copywriter appeared with a question, and I had to react like another human being. I tried hard to say sensible things, all the while scrutinizing her face for indications of bewilderment. But she played along.

Friday, December 13, 2013


only in bits and pieces.


Unlike the Americans, China

Thursday, December 12, 2013

The M train, the shorter train, the train not to take. The train not taken. The front of it stopped right before me at Bleecker Street. The weird rubber ropes across its nose swinging to and fro. Like a living, breathing beast. All metal and heavy. All there. And then it was gone.

Saturday, December 07, 2013

Last Saturday I lay on the couch as Jackie watched Curious George beside me. I wanted sleep. Invited it. I closed my eyes. Suddenly I was jolted awake—what was it? Not a sound or any event outside of me, I realized. What had awoken me with such a start was the actual moment of passage into sleep itself.

Thursday, December 05, 2013

Monday, December 02, 2013


as for their own complicated