Walking through downtown, focusing only occasionally on buildings where I’ve worked. We’re both sick.
I feel like there will be someone I know waiting at the end of this walk. If there is, I wouldn’t notice him. My mind isn’t on our surroundings. The only things I see are landmarks (the windows where I watched the WTO protests fall apart, the T-Mobile store with the honest salesman) and when we reach our destination we only find bank tellers. When she finishes, Tricia says, “I forgot those checks I was going to deposit. Are you hungry? We could go to that pizza place that you like.”
The heat lamps shine on the cheese in a way that makes them look unappetizing. There are dingy chairs and sturdy gray tables strewn around in random gatherings in the back. There’s also a pile of water damaged acoustic ceiling tiles. I nibble at my pizza, unable to finish. I stare at the Stranger classifieds on the table beside me. I have no doubt that this paper has been sitting there open to the same page since the paper’s cover date in July. I let it lie there untouched. It may last another three months.
On our walk back, a doorman standing outside a fancy restaurant has broken his dignified posture to give me a casual wave hello. We’ve passed him before I’ve noticed, and I don’t look back to see if I know him.