1. People who fight about politics on Pinterest.
2. Also, YouTube.
3. The fact that there are only 24 hours in the day.
4. And that I do not have a time turner.
5. And also, I just got new pages put in my passport. Which is the non-frustrating outcome of a really, really frustrating (and also expensive) process that’s really borne out of a lovely situation. And that situation is that you travel so much that your damn passport is full.
My hell is transcribing interviews. On an airplane. While banking in turbulence. If I go to hell, I will do this for eternity.
I get on the A train at midnight, post-show, and get the seat I want by the door, on the end.
And I see a boy on the other side and my first thought is that he’s cute – that kind of ragtag Brooklyn boy with a beard and a backpack heading downtown after hanging out with friends in Inwood, Washington Heights, the Bronx. The far reaches. I like how he looks, how his eyes have a fierce, dark glitter behind them, and the palms of his hands are strong and wide.
I wonder if I should flirt with him. Do the eye thing. But he’s probably younger than me. Twenty-four or 25.
But as the train pulls out of the station, I see that his hands are stained between his fingers. Kind of greenish. And his clothes are more then negligently, beautifully rumpled. More than a night out in a bar, or a party somewhere.
He bobs his head up and down as the train barrels through the tunnel and his nose starts to drip. He doesn’t do anything to stop it. I know I should stop staring, but I don’t. He watches out the opposite window as though he’s seeing something more than just blackness.
And maybe he sees me staring, but maybe he doesn’t. And maybe all he sees is the question on my face, because he reaches down, and pulls up the sleeve of his black jacket, and then the sleeve of the threadbare peach sweater underneath, all the way to the elbow. And they’re there, because I knew they would be there before I even saw them. Dozens and dozens of angry red needle marks, some of them bruised and turning blue-black. Then he does the exact same thing with his other arm, slow and matter-of-fact. He rolls his sleeve back down and touches his ankle. He doesn’t have to show me what’s there.
I know all of this is for me. For my rudeness.
I want to say to him, I’m sorry. I’m staring at you because I want to come over there. I want to walk two feet across the train and sit next to you and ask you what’s wrong. But even if he could give an answer, could come out of his dream long enough, there wouldn’t be much I could do. I get off at West 4th Street. He stays on the train, keeps heading downtown, to Brooklyn or oblivion or both.