We arrive at the car rental agency and they only have white cars. This is a problem because Bryan will not drive a white car. They remind him of his parents’ cars. We wait, in the cold, while the car rental guy retrieves a beige car. This, apparently, is sufficiently psychologically comforting. We settle in.
Me:What’s this barbecue implement doing in the back seat?
Bryan: You’re kidding. You’ve never seen an ice scraper?
Me: Where would I have seen an ice scraper?
Bryan: I don’t know. Movies? National Geographic?
Me: Right. What movie prominently featured an ice scraper?
Bryan: When Harry Met Sally.
Bryan: When they were scraping the ice off the windshield.
Me: That never happened.
Bryan: Okay. Fargo.
Bryan: When William H. Macy is scraping the windshield and he starts freaking out and beating the car because he knows they’re gonna catch him.
Me: … Are you enjoying your beige car?
Scenario: The N Line is packed and quiet. Passengers are jammed against each other, the windows, the doors.
Characters: Two men in their early thirties. They are strangers.
Guy 1: Man!
Guy 2: (Gives a low whistle.)
Guy 1: I saw someone assassinated in London. I have a healthy respect for crowds.
Guy 2: (Raises eyebrows, refrains from eye contact.)
Guy 1: Oh yeah. POP! Then the guy just took off running.
Guy 2: (Shifts uncomfortably.)
Guy 1: Respect the crowds.
In the city, sometimes you’ll smell something in the air, and you’re not quite sure what it is. At first you think it’s a savory smell–Chinese food, or maybe pizza. Then, when you inhale deeply, you realize it’s the stink of something profoundly rotten, so rotten that you can taste it in the back of your throat.
I hate surprises.
An excerpt from Fussy, where Mrs. Kennedy is having a conversation with her little boy, Jackson:
“Me, driving: You know what? I think I’m lost.
Jackson, in back seat: Well, I’m not lost on my side.
Me: Seriously, I don’t know where the fuck we are.
Jackson: Don’t say that.
Jackson: If you say words like that to me, I’ll learn them.
Me: Sorry, sorry.”
Two twenty-something women chat over coffee.
This friend of mine knows this girl who’s always like, “What’s your favorite color? What’s your favorite kind of car?” Like, she doesn’t engage in conversation, she’s just always asking who your favorite band is or what you’re going to be for Halloween.
Like, next year?
And do you totally go on with it, or do you laugh?
Yeah. I go, “My favorite color is blue, what’s yours?”
In conversation with the cab driver, the subject turns to crime.
Me: There seems to be a lot less crime in this area lately.
Cabbie: No. I been robbed twice.
Cabbie: Yeah. Two times with knife.
Me: Oh no! What happened?
Cabbie: Nothing. Guys just wanted my money.
Me: That’s terrible! Were you hurt?
Cabbie: No, no.
Me: Did they both get away?
Cabbie: Oh sure! But one of them, he run in front of my car and I hit him. Stupid asshole.
Me: You hit him with the cab?
Cabbie: Yeah. He take my money, I hit him. Broke his leg good.
Me: Whoa! Did you get your money back?
Cabbie: No way! He had a knife.
Me: So you just drove away?
Cabbie: Yeah. He rob me, he get what he deserved.