Day One

On the way home this evening, I felt numb. The route home was slightly different but most of it was the same. There was the drive west on 36th Street instead of 41st Street but the rest was dark and wet.

It started raining but for a while, I didn’t notice. The rain made it difficult to see through the windshield but I didn’t turn on the wipers. At some point, it clicked.

It’s raining. Better put on the windshield wipers. 

When I arrived at home, the cats were ready to play. Some of them sat and kept their distance while others approached me and made their presence abundantly known. After a few minutes, I went upstairs and settled in. My bedroom is off limits to them.

Should I turn on the TV, read or surf the internet? Decisions, decisions. Maybe I should think. Thinking is never one of the choices. It should be. Must keep thinking in mind for next time.

The nocturnal animals slosh around outside on the wet ground. It stopped raining. I don’t know. I took my anti-depressants and a sleep aid. I need to relax. I need to forget a few things.

A story for another time, perhaps?

The Impressive Wall

He built a huge wall around his house. It’s an impressive wall, a wall that people admire.

But a crime has been committed. There is a good possibility that learning about what motivated the crime is beyond his impressive wall and in his stately manor.

“Mr. Apple, could you help us gather information about this crime? All we need you to do is knock a hole in your impressive wall. We only want to enter once and we assure you no one, and we mean no one, will ever use your hole again.”

Mr. Apple looks around at his impressive wall and says, “You don’t understand. If I knock a hole into my impressive wall I won’t be able to repair it. Anyone could come in. People could walk right in and do all sorts of unsavory things. I’m not saying you will but, I don’t know, you might.”

Law enforcement looks at Mr. Apple and says, “You’re being untrusting and unreasonable. We’re the good guys. Make that fucking hole, Mr. Apple.”

Stay tuned…

Once Upon A Time

I’ve always wanted to write a story that began with “Once upon a time.”

There has never been a story that started with “Once upon a time” that hasn’t grabbed me. What will happen, I always ask myself?

And with that I am whisked away, like an old man’s hat being carried off by the wind. Like the hat, I have no idea where I’ll wind up but I’m sure to be a changed man once I arrive there.

Strength

I am better but I am still a long ways from being normal.

I mean, what’s normal anyway? Sitting alone in a small corner of the house and reading a book? Going to the movies alone? I know they are normal to me but are they normal for everyone?

It would have probably taken an incredible amount of strength to exorcise those rituals from my routine. I know that you possess that sort of strength. You always spoke of dragging me out of my shell. I suppose in the grand scheme of things I was not what you wanted to waste your strength on.

The Advice

A young man of about twenty-five years old began a conversation with me on a bus queue last night as I was trying to maintain my invisibility.

He was taking a later bus than usual because he was presented with the opportunity to hang with a girl he fancies. The girl just broke up with her boyfriend (as in a few hours before) and he was mulling over how best to make his move. He asked for my advice. Fool.

I said, “Ask her to the company gathering you mentioned but only as a friend. Embrace that. Don’t even think about asking her if she likes you or attempting to kiss her unless you see the runway lights. Be a friend until you both feel like it’s all falling into place. Patience, my young padawan.”

I could tell that he hated my advice because he kept saying, “But that’s not me.” So I said, “Okay. Invite her to your gathering, attempt to kiss her repeatedly, and ask her if she likes you over and over and over again and see how far that gets you.”

Advice given, I wished him well, and went back to working on my invisibility.

On Beer

I never drink beer on a weeknight. Tonight I made an exception.

It’s hot. Not the beer but the temperature. A short walk leaves you drenched in sweat. After a long walk and an hour and a half on a bus I felt I could use one.

I started drinking beer from a glass a few months ago. Before that I’d drink it straight out of the bottle. I’ve never been keen on drinking beer from a can. It doesn’t feel right for some reason.

This beer, cold and proud and sitting on my desk, reminds me of the first time I drank a beer. I was fourteen years old and my friends and I crammed into my cousin’s old Chevy and headed to Coney Island, Brooklyn. It was a hot summer night and each street corner was filled with either riff raff or police officers.

The air was filled with the scent of sausages, hot dogs and hamburgers. Periodically you’d hear a buzzer in the distance proclaiming another winner at one of the many carnival games Coney Island had to offer.

My friends and I walked towards the boardwalk on a long ramp. On the left there was a bar. It was a weeknight and the bar was mostly empty. There were two or three people at the bar on the boardwalk and a person playing a pinball machine in the corner. My friend Jerry was of age and he bought two Budweisers. One was for him and one, he announced to everyone, was for me. They were in cans.

I took mine and I felt like I had arrived. I opened the can and watched the foam rise through the opening and onto the lid. It felt like an eternity before I took a sip and when I did, I grimaced. My friends didn’t see me make a face so I was okay. I took another sip then another then I chugged the rest.

I noticed that Jerry crushed the can after he was done so I did the same.