Hear the Music

The girls in front are dancing and twisting around to some unheard music. In the back seat, there’s a guy hunched over, pointedly having no part in this. He looks out at the people standing in the sidewalk, makes a face and draws little circles in the air around his ear. (“They’re crazy.”) Then he hunkers down further into his seat and lowers his window a few inches, like he’s trying to air the car out, and the music filters out onto the sidewalk.


This afternoon, I saw a taxi roll out of a garage and turn into a parking space on Twelfth. The windows, bumpers, grill, and rooftop sign were covered with brown paper. It had just been painted or in being prepared for painting. Whoever was inside was driving blind.

Last Minute Shopping

Desperately looking for a last second Christmas present? Here’s what’s open in my neighborhood:

  • 99 Cent Store: candles, sunglasses, water pistols
  • Jack in the Box
  • My Favorite Piroshky: Russian dinner pastries
  • Hollywood Video
  • Twice Sold Tales: used books
  • Castle Superstore: adult gifts
  • Espresso Vivace Coffee Stand
  • TNT Espresso
  • Blooms on Broadway: flowers
  • the friendly Thai Restaurant
  • Glade Market: beef jerky, cigarettes

I Am

[painted-over graffiti]

I am getting some work done, out of tea, getting over a cold, frustrated and uninspired, making one more draught on my savings, not feeling the Christmas spirit, ignoring an email, and at least six feet if I stand up straight.


There’s an old van parked in the lot next to the vehicle emissions testing station. It has a diagnostic computer pushed up next to the side door and a sign advertising “repairs starting at $39.95″. The mechanic is sitting in the front seat skimming through a magazine.

Last Night and This Afternoon

There’s a tow truck stopped in the middle of a dark street. The engine is running and its lights are flashing. The driver is nearby, standing on the sidewark next to a parked car. He shouts at someone inside, “You’re just keeping my phone so you can listen to my messages. That’s ignorant.”

A girl walks into the corner pizza place and borrows the yellow pages so she can look for tattoo artists.