I’m seated at a large table with an attractive waspy caucasian woman and her boyfriend, who I gather is Jewish by his hair, facial features, and quick demeanor. They caught my attention when he said “I’ll go if you want, but I’d rather not,” regarding a social event the former mentioned. He spoke this in an assertive tone, somewhat brittle with chronic patience, but not brash. “Don’t yell at me,” the woman exasperatedly said, which is something women tend to say even though the man is not yelling. The man, skilled at boyfriendhood, didn’t retort, but put on his headphones and began mildly moving his head. The woman’s hair was dyed from “dirty” blond to blond, a condition betrayed by the former’s roots growing from her scalp, as if defiantly asserting a slow deviation from the Aryans. As for the Jew, nothing could hide his diaspora, now typing elegant code into a Startup. When her breakfast burrito (a burrito fashioned with the constituents of breakfast items: eggs, sausage, cheese, etc.) arrived, all three of us meekly looked at its daft girth, ponderously folded and sagging on the plate. “Have half,” the woman said, in self-conscious loyalty to her diet. “It’s okay,” he replied, as both a direct answer and perhaps even some kind of existential placation offered to the world at large. She looked upset. They may argue about this at some point in their relationship. She will store this mild transgression for later. “It’s huge,” she said, which is when I smiled. That’s what she said, I considered saying, but instead imagined his meaty schlong buried deep inside her gentile grace. 

I remember looking out the window in the subway and being met with the frenetic blackness rushing by, per the self-centered orientation to which we are all bound, for it was actually me rushing by it, such darkness. My mother always had grave matters to attend downtown, from her legal separation with my father, to various visa statuses of countries she, in her mind, might escape to. In the train coming home, I would be reminded of myself by a semblance imposed on the window, as if defiantly extant for no reason. The lesson was rather morbid for an 8 year old: the passing void of perceived chaos and its passive witness. My thin expression had been affixed onto the world like saran wrap around some leftovers. In the fashion of mid-90s Magic Eye posters, one could only see the hidden image by paradoxically ignoring it, looking past it, attuning their focus by counterintuitively not looking. The image could now rise in 3D with uncanny joy, an apparition of something that wasn’t there. I remember Victoria Park being our exit, eastward into the suburbs — towards a modest first home whose upstairs front windows rolled their eyes, whose zit of a doorbell was barely rung, and whose backyard was a grave in ways — led harshly by the arm, slowed down by heels, in a soft warm hand into the streets, of moving monsters and buried cries. 

I am not on Facebook anymore, but about two or so months ago, while perusing a stranger’s page, I saw my name mentioned in a conversation to which I was unwittingly in tangent. Another stranger had called me a “tool” or “turd” (I can’t remember exactly, but recall it being a four-letter t-word). I call the two invoked people strangers because (a) I had never met them in person, or (b) had never interacted with them online, in any way, however ephemeral, including twitter ats or comment threads. In short, these were pure inviolate strangers, the former with whom I was friends by receptive cronyist default; that is, we knew the same people, in a perceived industry or community in which it was advantageous to know more of those people. Let me concede, at this point in my rhetoric, to the gossip-y feel of this post. There’s a Chinese saying which goes “great minds discuss ideas, normal minds discuss things, and small minds discuss people,” so we are hereby in the business, it seems, of the latter. I heard from another person that the person who called me a “tool” or “turd” is, or was, in an open relationship over which he was lamenting, as he was not emotionally ready (I hate to use the word “evolved”) enough to negotiate the intrasexual reality of such a relationship. I may have seen an instagram of him lying on the couch inwardly — i.e. his face dug into the back of the couch, the way Franny did in Franny and Zooey — with his thin buttocks barely convexly asserting itself inside the room. He may have been crying over his polyamorous girlfriend banging elsewhere, or was simply composing a poem in his head.