i hop the subway three stops early to take my feet home. a sharp right into the park and the expanse unfolds before me. the sky lit up in gradient first pink then orange then blue. i have taken to walking or maybe more brooding. i have taken a shine to the cold, probably because it was absent for so long and my body’s rhythms couldn’t cope. so long without it, so far from the natural order of things that here my organs lean into it even as it bites at me and turns my fingers pink.
i pass a squirrel that seems to have just perished in the middle of looking for a nut. it remains frozen almost wholly intact. i pass a very robust pile of horse shit. i pass a downed pedestrian light that even with it’s body so painfully askew continues to flash orange, on/off on/off. i pass the white bright ice skating rink and squint. a reminder that this space, this last bastion of the commons is putting up a very weak fight against the creep of commodification.
i pass my exit and keep going. i hang a spliff distractedly from my lip.
i churned up another cockamamie scheme to wrench myself from wage slavery this week. then i poured hours and hours into formulating a business plan and calculating profits and dreaming, dreaming. and, i suppose the impetus for this brooding walk is that, for better or worse, my therapist has just talked some sense into me. it cut the euphoria a bit. she’s right. brooding seems right.
and that little dream was born of a security camera. they make them almost cute now, bright white apple-esque exterior and mesmerizing blue light. it sits behind me who sits behind the cash register. the cash register that is now locked because laborers aren’t to be trusted. locked in the panopticon, my precarity becomes visceral. i almost lost my job last month because amid all of my other earnest and distracted toiling i had failed, apparently, to sweep adequately. and you know, despite how punk it would be, i have never taken a dime.
finished, i shove the little burnt ball of paper into my pocket. finished, i exit the park.
i slip into the corner bodega, clank bottles on the counter. the man at the register refers to me as the “maricon” to the deli guy as though i haven’t heard it before, as though i don’t know the language. i slip out and pretend not to care. he doesn’t need to know. pendejo.
to be at the behest of others. not to be at the behest of others.
music spills into my ears as i settle my headphones back on my head. my headphones that i wear so i won’t have to hear what anyone else is saying about me. that i wear so people won’t think i’m available for conversation. that i wear so i can fantasize about being wholly alone, wholly in my own world on this densely crowded street. i change the words in my head:
autonomy 2k16, autonomyyyyy 2k16