I’m off-center, observing. If there are nuts, I’m picking them by twos. Chips, any kind, likewise. If there are raw vegetables, I’ll eat the celery because I hate for it to be a wallflower. If there is a dog, I will be wherever the dog is, even if that means under a table, on a porch, or in whatever room hosts the orgy of coats. If you see me, you don’t have to ask if I want to join the others. You don’t have to ask if I’m okay or if I need anything. This is the way I “party”.
Just a test! Just a test!
I make the bed every day without fail, usually before leaving for the gym in the morning. This morning I did not because I wanted to change the sheets but didn’t have time. When I returned, I tossed the fresh sheets on the bed in anticipation of doing so. Right now I’m not in the mood to do it, though, so I was thrilled to see that little Lola had decided to lounge among them, thus making it “impossible” for me to do. I like to think she did it expressly for my benefit. I am grateful for my cat.
Okay, it’s November, the month of Thanksgiving, so every day this month I’m going to post something for which I am grateful or thankful, in a 100-word block, rather than save it all for the actual holiday, when I’ll probably be offline avoiding photos of turkey. I’m a day behind, because I just decided to do this this morning. So, without further ado …
I’m several paces behind a person bent so far forward at the waist that his or her back is parallel to the sidewalk. The person is dressed in simple pants and jacket and is completely bald, and I can only see part of a profile tucked below. The skull is studded with several raised reddish blotches and bruises, and just as I think, “Probably from bumping into lots of stuff,” the person nearly does so with a post, but reaches out a hand in anticipation, avoiding more damage. My own problems are immediately rendered bullshit. I’m grateful for my spine.
I enter the subway car and stop short. I can’t proceed beyond two feet without maneuvering around two large lion-colored dogs sprawled by the feet of a guy who looks like Johnny Depp immersing himself in the role of an itinerant man suffering from a disease that has left him thin and in need of constant medication through a tube wrapped around his upper left arm and secured by stretchy mesh/netting. After a while, he smoothes down the dogs’ bandanas, one blue, the other red, that say, “SERVICE DOG.” I think he wants people to know he’s not being inconsiderate.
A woman in red T-shirt and jean shorts and hair that looks like a “Mama’s Family” discard, who’d been seated on the opposite side of the subway car, several seats down the row to my left, who’d also been regarding the service dogs, comes over and sits to my right after the man and dogs exit at Times Square. She makes a negative remark about the trio, thinking she has an ally in me. I tell her the man was obviously very sick and I have nothing but compassion for him. I want to insult her crossed eyes but refrain.
Sometimes my walks home from the gym are buoyant, and the sun offers not only light but glitter, the breeze is as crisp as an apple slice, my hair, released from its ponytail, cascades with Brigitte Bardot glory, and rather than want to spit a hardware store of nails in the direction of every hideous, soulless 7-Eleven that has littered the city in the past few years, I regard the franchise as a charming reminder of 1970s suburban living and think, “I should get a Slurpee for my walk!” And then the needle scratches the record and I wise up.
This morning Amazon presented several “recommendations” to me. One was a zippered case for CDs, with reviews from at least a decade ago. C’mon, Amazon. Who do you think I am? Show me a portable carrier for 45s (like the one I’m showing here, which I had in 1975) or a small suitcase for 8-tracks, and then I’ll know you’re really paying attention.