Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Westbound

Your face hurts.
I'm sorry, what?
Your face hurts.
Excuse me, but I have no idea what you're talking about.
It's going to hurt.
Are you going to hit me?
Why would I do that?
I have no idea. I have to go.
Does it hurt yet?
Sorry. Bye.
Wait.
Look, it's cold out here, I don't know you.
But you do. I helped change your tire.
I don't drive. This is New York.
You did drive.
My face is cold.
I told you.
You told me it would hurt.
Cold is a kind of hurt. It was last summer, by the bank, you were waiting for AAA.
How do you remember me?
Can I buy you a coffee?
I have one right here.
I know. Can I buy you a hot one?
I told you, I have to go.
Then why haven't you gone.
Do you see that branch there? The one by the water?
Yes.
It's completely frozen.
It doesn't look like it.
It is, I touched it. That's why I'm still here.
Because the branch is frozen?
Because I'm frozen. I think I can't move.
Do you need my help? I'll get you a cab.
No. I'm being dramatic, I get like that here.
In New York?
No, by the river.
The water makes you complain?
Very funny. I'm not complaining. The water makes me think, its why I come here.
That's kind of a cliche, isn't it?
I hate when people say that. Look at it? The sky is so intense in November, the sun is just kind of waiting around for something to happen, and there's no one here. It's a cliche because its true.
It is pretty empty here.
Have you ever been here in the summer?
No. I'm not from here.
This place is crowded from April until October. Where are you from?
Illinois.
Usually people just say Chicago.
I prefer to be unusual.
That's a cliche.
Because its true.
Touche. So how did you recognize me.
Your earrings.
My earrings?
Yeah. My housekeeper growing up had hummingbird earrings.
I was wearing these when you changed my tire?
Yeah.
I don't get it, you live in Chi–Illinois, but you changed my tire on the New Jersey Turnpike a year ago?
Right.
That explains nothing.
I've been here before.
Here isn't here, though.
It never is.
Stop. That was forty miles from this park.
Give or take, yes.
So how did you find me?
Don't flatter yourself, I wasn't looking for you. I like this park, I remembered your earrings. The world is a much more interconnected place than we like to think.
What are you, a buddhist or something?

The man laughs and readjusts his wool cap, pulling his coat collar up to his chin he stands and walks towards the river and sits on the ground near the edge. Our lady stays on the bench, her scarf flapping against her body. An old, small homeless woman pulls cans out of a trashcan nearby. Traffic on the West Side Highway buzzes in the odd silence. A frozen branch cracks and disengages from its tree. The clouds are thin whisps in the sky; they monotonously separate as the sun sinks behind New Jersey and travels endlessly westward.

2 comments:

disasterpiece said...

Like this, very much :)

Matt said...

Nicely done.