25NOV2011 – Outside tonight, Franklin Park. Sitting at a metal table pierced through and through with dead brown leaves. I’m finishing up a pint of stout, reading WSB and admiring the dregs of the pink coral sunset. I’ve got a can of WD40, a bag of cane sugar and a roll of paper towels in my backpack. Everything is cold. My coat is warm.
A white cat wearing a grey mask slinks past. Brooklyn is full of cats. Some of them are cameras. Children shoot each other dead with toy guns as their fathers sit sipping beers, talkin’ about their workday; one leg folded across the other. This is man time. One waits his entire life for these moments.
08DEC2011 – Colder out. December is all done playing nice. Bagged up my laundry and carried it to the drop-off service on the corner last night. The moon was full, gleaming. In a small town, I’d be able to see the beams, and experience these beautiful old buildings in natural light. Skeletal fingers of sleepy trees overhead like black veins in a dark heart.
An expensive brand of moped was chained outside. As I yanked the door open, a wall of washing machine din and the sharp jabber of Telemundo burrowed into my ears, flooding past the ‘phone I typically wear when I’m out. A young male in his late teens dressed like ninja training camp with a grey crash helmet balanced on his head was selling knock-off DVDs to a group gathered around his backpack. A thousand miniature equal signs of florescent lighting reflected in the glossy covers. The proprietor of the Laundromat peered anxiously at them from the other end of the room, wary. I hefted my duffle bag onto the scale.
“No comforters, only clothes,” I declared. I’d washed a blanket here before, I knew the drill. They weigh them separately.
“No comforter! Only clothe!” she warned, wagging a finger at me. English was probably not her first language, she probably misunderstood.
“Uh, yeah. That’s what I said.” Sharp smile.” Thank you.” I printed my name and phone number on the slip – not sure exactly why, it’s not as if I’d forget a bag of my own clothing down the street – stuffed the pink copy into my wallet and stepped back into the night. The boy in black had started up his steed and was revving away down the sidewalk. An older couple were holding an animated conversation on the sidewalk. The woman dropped her glasses. Picked them up, looked them over, put them back on. I stood against the wall of the Laundromat for a moment watching the reflection of traffic lights bounce and breathe in the stainless steel siding of the Chinese restaurant across the street. Turned away, headphones, hands in pockets.
15DEC2011 – Seated sideways in a booth in a restaurant carved entirely made from liquid samba or maybe it’s disco, anything’s possible. Whatever. It’s the cook’s call. If he’s feeling it, he’s feeling it. (Another pen that can’t keep up, scratching and scratching with a papery rasp. Letters missing here, half a word absent there…) A Sumi Naga chieftain walks in through the door, claims he lost his drum, but could he trade this shrunken head for some chicken pad Thai? “It’s worth plenty where I come from.” The cat on the counter hisses like a slashed tire, bearing a mouthful of jagged whites.
I always say the future will be here in five minutes, when I know damn good and well it will be here in three.