I woke Monday morning, and the headache was gone. A headache for me is sometimes a lot. I looked at myself in the bathroom mirror and I danced a little. Not any needle in it, not any staple, not any burr. Breathing real air again.
I walked to the subway. On the other side of the street, I saw a sea gull had set his whiteness on the top of a brownstone, and then he swooped down, embarrassing pigeons everywhere, he was so lean and smart. I was thinking I would rather not go to work. One of my classes, I don’t know what to do with them. I had no idea. All I know to do is watch them and be still and wait for an idea of what to do.
Tiny spots burned up and down my leg. The razor was bad, had gone to the dark side. Funny how those clips of cut don’t bleed until later, like they won’t really clot in the shower water?
I dried off by the lockers, my towel had blood on it, and I don’t know what the procedure is for bleeding in public, bleeding on towels that they must bleach the hell out of, surely, this seemed pretty bad in this Ebola moment in history, bleeding all over in our teeny city. I mopped up the mess. Then I finished dressing, and I sat in a chair facing the pool pressing a paper towel on my ankle for a while.
In the sixth subway ride since I had bought it, I finished a book about the woman who lost her husband, sons, and parents in the tidal wave that hit Sri Lanka the day after Christmas. I understood the feeling of losing your inside by losing things outside you, but appearing to still have yourself on the outside even though your inside was clean to the bone. I haven’t had anyone to talk to about that, how sad it was, even though I was the one who made it happen, I never found a person to talk to who understood this.
I understood the ghost family, as I have a ghost family of the husband and kids, people I imagine. They were never real, is that better? When I am especially grubby with loneliness, I wonder if missing some people you wish existed is better or worse than missing the husband who died, let’s say, by being washed to sea in a freak tidal wave. It’s just a dumb thing to wonder about.
“Okay, I’ll give you a pen if you tell me a joke,” I said to one of my students.
“What? No,” kid said.
“Come on, even a knock-knock joke,” I said.
The other kid sitting there looked at him. The other kid shrugged. “I really don’t know any,” he said.
I gave him a pen.
I got right onto the train to go to writing group. Worked on the Sunday crossword a little more. I sat in a dark car on the R, the lights were out in half the train, so I could hardly see the clues. It was part of a car from 1970s New York, it was grim, grim.
I climbed out of the subway, first you watch all the feet, making sure you are pacing to not push someone or step into them, then you look up , and the sky gets more and more and more and you are up, you may see the bulb that has a green top half and a white bottom, or you may see a white box with a letter M which is half light blue, half dark blue, it looks like time forgot it, maybe since the ’70s, speaking of the ’70s, which is the one that is there at Union Street and 4th Avenue. I love how the sky develops. You could get excited about it every time.
I went into a narrow everything store where a kid was begging a mom to buy a whoopie cushion, and she was laughing but saying no. I got scissors for $1.50, which I thought a great deal, and a book with lines to practice your handwriting on the bottom, and space for a picture at the top, which I was sure I would enjoy writing in and drawing pictures in.
At writing group, we sat drinking a little wine and cutting up newspapers and poems to make new poems, line by line.
Comet trajectories are notoriously changeable
we believe that numbers matter.
There’s an old proverb: “Just sink one well deep enough.”
longer than the Eiffel Tower is high.
How do your legs hold up
A dead dog chained to a cement block was pulled out of a West Islip canal yesterday.
It can see
It thumped its long tail like a snare drum.