Sunday, January 29, 2006

I was riding the subway home from work yesterday and I was trying not to let people catch me looking at their faces and this man came on carrying a box for a 13” television and a bag with another box in it for a DVD player and both things were from K-Mart and I thought where is there a K-Mart anywhere near here and then I though Oh my God, what shirt am I wearing? And I couldn’t remember. This was not a crisis, I knew, so rather than simply looking I decided to turn it into a game. I was wearing a coat buttoned up and I was wearing a scarf and I could not see the shirt at all but I would sit very still. If I moved, I knew, my body would register what fabric was against my skin, and I would very easily be able to determine the shirt. But that would be cheating. I sat perfectly still and not knowing where else to start I simply asked myself, over and over, What shirt am I wearing? Perhaps this is naïve of me but I honestly assumed that the answer would somehow just appear on the other side of the question like the word brown appears on the other side of What color are my eyes. Obviously there’s a matter of scale. I hadn’t been wearing the shirt since I was born. But come on. All day I’d been staring out at a world that consisted largely of a computer screen and some sticky notes around the perimeter and right underneath all this a couple of long, bent, fleshy tubes with wagging fluttery things at the end and these tubes must have had, there was no doubt in my mind that these tubes had had some color. That color, I felt certain, would lead me straight to the answer to my question. Still, though, I was struggling to remember it. And as I struggled an enormous blankness grew where my shirt should have been until the blankness was nearly vertiginous and I my eyes became wider and wider trying to take it all in, though I was of course only looking at it with my mind. At any rate, I must have been staring impolitely without knowing it because the man from K-Mart coughed and I brought my eyes into focus and found him scowling at me as though insulted. I suddenly had the feeling I’d missed my stop and I looked around and to my surprise I was the only other person on the car. The K-Mart man and I were alone. The train rocked gently back and forth as it barreled underneath the surface of the earth and the man continued to eye me suspiciously and I looked up and smiled, doing my best not to anger him further. You can’t be too careful riding the subway, I thought to myself. You never know what’s going to set people off.

9 Comments:

Blogger Tao Lin said...

what the hell

this is way too long

i only got to the third or fourth line, this isn't blogging, it's the missouri review or something

12:11 PM  
Blogger Reader of Cute, Happy Books said...

oops. my bad. should i put in some line breaks so it's poetry?

1:09 PM  
Blogger Christabel said...

Fuck no, only in ancient Greece could you get away with a poem that long.
Paragraph it up and it could be an essay.

3:28 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is blogging. I know because I was walking along the hall, the one with the posters for Martha Stewart Week, and I looked into one of the rooms and there was this blog entry sitting at a desk, eating soy crisps.

5:10 AM  
Blogger Reader of Cute, Happy Books said...

Thank you, bobby. You're the only one who ever understood me.

9:24 AM  
Blogger Tao Lin said...

i read it

were you parodying someone, i couldn't tell

12:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's February 9.

3:16 PM  
Blogger The Man Who Couldn't Blog said...

Write more.

5:56 PM  
Blogger Maya said...

So what color was the shirt?

10:51 PM  

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