Tag Archives: underground

Hello, You

I had so many cups of coffee today that I think I’ve developed an ulcer. There is some sort of bloated knot in my stomach and all I have to show for it is bad breath. If anything, the weight of the acid had dragged me down, and I feel even slower than I did this morning when I sat on the subway, staring at my own face in the window across the way, thinking “Hello, 1 train. Hello, you.”

I wonder if this is what pregnancy feels like, the heft and the bloat and the drag. I’m not pregnant. I would know if I was. I have always been extra sensitive, always a feeler in the worst sense of the word. 

Everyone on the subway this morning looked drained except the tourists. You can always tell, because no one else could be bubbling over with such emotion, so much visible anticipation and zeal that it makes you feel sick to be awake so early to have an ordinary day. Their excitement probably cripples their ability to absorb anything real. “Hello 1 train!” their wide-eyes shout. “Hello, you!” 

Telegram

One more mistake was made, stop, the one in which I let you know that I had made a mistake. Stop. If we could tarry in the underground and persue the equivocal decisions we made, stop, things would be different. Stop. But I don’t know if this can happen. Stop. I can blame it on whatever I want, stop, but at the end of the day, I’m not strong enough to grab your hand and, stop, at least lead you in the direction I’d like just to see you follow. Stop. Just to see. Stop. Just because this makes everything different. Stop.

Dream Sequence

The alarm went off too early this morning and I was jolted awake, bolting upward and silently gasping. I had the worst dream. Someone please tell me what this means:

I swiped my metrocard and walked down into the subway. There were a few scattered strangers underground, none of them paying attention to me. I felt sick and full and shaken, leaned over and vomited. But I couldn’t stop. It was violent, until I was on my hands and knees, shaking and wretching. The train came and the strangers got on. No one got off. I was all alone and gagging and throwing up bright red blood and spitting when the alarm went off.

I didn’t drink last night. I had a small cheese sandwich for dinner.

What the fuck does that mean?

Many Drinks In (And Nothing to Eat)

I went out with Mr. Orange the other night.

I told him I could go out for a drink that night or else I was booked for at least week. It’s true. He canceled plans and agreed to meet me at a bar on the Lower East Side at 6:45.

At 6:15 I turned around and asked The Artist if I should be late.

“What for? Are you normally late? I thought girls were late because they had to get ready. And you already have clothes on.”

“Point taken,” I laughed, “but the thing about Mr. Orange is he was always late. Disrespectfully late. That’s one thing about him I hated. I would leave work and get to Brooklyn just to wait outside as he worked on finishing a paper or something. If he knew he was going to be late, he should have made it a point to tell me. There’s nothing more obnoxious than waiting onside when I could have kept working in the office.”

“Twelve minutes, then. Be twelve minutes late,” The Artist suggested.

“But I hate being late.”

“So eleven.”

As I walked the journey from the magazine office to the subway, I received a text from Mr. Orange. He was running late. How late, I texted back. I got on the subway and shot angry looks at the babies crying during rush hour. Me too, babies. Me too.

When I emerged from the underground downtown, I had another text from him asking if I wanted to cancel. I wrote back I was already there and furiously stamped toward the bar. I ordered a beer and drank it. When I’m angry, I drink harder and faster. By the time he arrived, I was buzzed and forgiving.

Two drinks in and nothing to eat: I had forgotten his nose and his eyelashes. I had forgotten how much he talks, his obnoxious ability to interupt an answer to a question he had asked, or his stories about his roommate, The Dwarf, and The Dwarf’s stupid girlfriends.

“Why did things end?” he finally asked. “Why didn’t you call me back?”

Three drinks in and nothing to eat: “Because you didn’t respect me enough and you have a lot of growing up to do.”

This silenced Mr. Orange.

“You’re not immature. But you’re self-involved and you didn’t appreciate me enough. You were always late. You were late tonight. Fuck it. Do you know how many guys wouldn’t dare be late to meet me?”

He defended himself. I demured.

“We had a connection,” he explains, and I didn’t care. Everyone connects to me. I am fucking connectable.

Four drinks in and nothing to eat: We ended up at another bar, a dive, and he bought another round. His hand was on my thigh, his fingers traced up and down my leg. I admitted the sex was good. I admitted we had a good thing. I let him kiss me and rub the back of my neck. I wouldn’t let him take me home.

So; I’m not proud of that. I’m never proud of my actions after many drinks and nothing to eat. I’m back to ignoring most of Mr. Orange texts. And when I told The Artist the next day how late he was, his eyes widened and we laughed.

Genchildren

Life, like me, is short. And growth is childish.

We are all wise children.

Upon introspection, my 85 year old grandfather still feels resentful f0r being raised a poor child among seven others. My grandmother misses her mama. The last time I spoke with my other grandmother, before she became incoherent, she told me how she used to love playing basketball with the boys. She must have been 13, or 16, and she would steal the ball from all of the boys as her best friend laughed and looked on. I painted her nails light purple as she drifted off into her past.

So, when do we grow? Who says we ever do?

What poor children of New York City, a city that thrusts self-righteous independence on all of its lonely hearts. We meander silently through the underground, rushing to and from the next connection. We are all children in the playground, alone, waiting patiently for our turn on the swing.