You’re sitting there for at least a half hour before you realize that the weird furniture store across the street is not a furniture store at all, and thus, not that weird. Something about the name CLINTON over KAINE on a light green awning strikes you more as a grocery store move—or, rather, a bodega move—than a political one.
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We met on the northbound side of the Hewes Street subway stop, where we’d both just gotten off the J train. Actually, we met on the stairs down to Broadway from the platform, and I don’t know if we’d both just gotten off of the same train. Maybe you were on a Queens-bound M train. Maybe you weren’t on a train at all, and you just enjoy the brisk exercise of carrying large Amazon boxes up and down the stairs to elevated trains. It could be that whatever was in that box has to be activated by altitude, and UPS refused to run it up a mountain en route to you. I only caught a quick look at your face as you hooked a U-turn onto the sidewalk below. Maybe it was just the last stroke of heat burning off in the autumn air, maybe it was pushing through that floor-to-ceiling turnstile, but you were breathtaking, the first cigarette on a winter morning when you’ve got a summer cold. You were in office clothes, and that Amazon box was broader than your lightly padded shoulders. That’s who you were. Not a bad who to be! Me, I was getting off at Hewes to walk up Hooper and Union to one of two Starbucks locations that Williamsburg inexplicably hasn’t burned to the ground yet. I was looking at Google Maps and wondering if it was worth buying the building at 492 Grand Street—one of three buildings between Hooper and Union—just to be…
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Oh, 2015. I’ve never met a dumber year, a year that I had as little use for as it had for me. You were the year that unemployment insurance ran out long before I got another job, a year of scant prospects, late rent, and more ramen than any 34-year-old should respectably expect to eat. Domain names and data were lost—we may never know what all movies and TV shows I watched from 33-34. Shitty people all around the world did shitty things to people both shitty and not shitty alike.
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