October 27, 2011

bike lanes

On a rooftop, there really isn't a whole lot of room for reticence. There are no four walls, just the one important plane. The one gravity holds you to. And good thing too, otherwise who knows where you'll end up. 

F skateboarded around the concrete surface, leaning in low around turns and kicking around. We were supposed to be at a party. I was getting claustrophobic. Some parties are like that. Those parties, they impose their presence upon you the way a camera does. You're never quite yourself when you're in front of the lens. 
The night before, we sat in his bed taking turns reading James Salter passages to one another. I had never done this with another person before, read to each other. He hummed at lines I read that he appreciated, the satisfied hum you hear digging into a Thanksgiving feast. 
"Is that not the most gorgeous thing you've read?" he asked, possessed. I wasn't about to burst that bubble by saying, actually not really but it's up there. Then again, I find beauty in context. Call it a contextual blindness perhaps. 

I found beauty in the ride home, paralleling one another, me on my bike and he on his longboard. We took all of Manhattan ave and down Driggs. Swooshed past the smokers of Saturday night, standing like pillars outside of bars. Past the dogs on midnight walks, and the park, dark and silent. At the point of diversion, near the subway, a man pleaded into a pay phone, weeping vehemently. An angry lover, I presumed. Although something told me it was leading up to this anyway. "Please don't do this! Don't say that!" He spewed. "Why are you doing this!" 
F and I looked at each other and paused to witness. If you have to ask...

When his pleas switched to angry insults, we parted ways. "You sinister bitch!" the man shouted into the phone, "You're ruining my life!" People making their way home stopped to stare. The indignity of having your heart ripped out for 25 cents a minute. 

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