I grab this week’s New Yorker and settle in for a long soak in the tub. When I’m finished with the profile on Noam Chomsky, I set my magazine down and begin to wash my face. After the first splash of water, I realize that I’m still wearing my glasses.
In a coffee shop on the park, this man is putting together a model airplane. It is an A38-800 Airbus.
The counter guy is not pleased. This man comes around too often and perhaps stays too long; the airplane takes up too much room at a communal table. The counter guy approaches. Oh great, he says. You’re here to stink up the place with airplane glue.
Oh no! the hobbyist says, grinning. He is a man who doesn’t often get attention from strangers. I’m just cutting it out. See? The counter guy nods and makes a nasal sound.
In the corner a professional ballerina is being photographed with her students. In the bathroom, the girl in the next stall answers her cell phone while she’s peeing. She makes plans to meet up for drinks with her pants around her ankles. She is wearing blue Puma tennis shoes, and I wonder if her friend can hear the rattle of the toilet paper dispenser as they decide between Doc’s and Blondies. She hangs up and leaves without washing her hands.
This morning we’re watching war TV. We turn it off to go about our lives. Upstairs, our neighbors are watching war TV. Downstairs the landlady is watching war TV. For the first time, the thin walls are a comfort.
Just finished another piece for The Morning News fashion series: ï¿½Releasing Your Inner Slut. Please go read it.
The guy with the shaved head is pretending to fight with his fraternity brother. They do a few drunken karate-ha! kicks before the bald guy decides head butts would be more effective. He removes his plastic Leprechaun hat, charges up the alley, rebounds off of his friend’s stomach, and retreats to charge again. One of the shamrock stickers falls from his cheek.
Later that evening, the DJ’s bass will blow just as the crowd has gotten frothy over Come on Eileen. At 4 a.m., Bryan wakes me with a jug of water and two Advils. This is a man I could spend some time with.
You know honey, we could use something in the bathroom.