I used to be the kind of guy that was pissed to wait.
“I’m sorry, running an hour behind, can you just meet me at the station at 11:20?”
I’m already at the station. But then, I think that I’ve become the kind of guy that sits on steps in front of meeting places with a couple cans of low-grade alcohol and a Camel Hard Pack. This is why we have things like notepads and digital music players, otherwise I’d go mad. These steps are pretty cold, though. I guess need to grow an ass.
Lots of people say goodbye: groups of friends getting the train home, another social drinking party of twenty-somethings a success. The light bulbs glow dimly through a film of embalming smog over a battlefield of cigarette filters that budge from time to time under the oblivious footsteps of rushing subway commuters. I think of Montauk and take another sip as a ruffled Oxford drapes an arm around her shoulder and asks one more time if she can get home by herself all right. (Of course she can, he’s the staggering drunk one [the lonely one].)
I was thinking to myself on the train: If I’m going to be depressed, the least I can do is get something creative out of it. Just whining, anyone can do that (and everyone does). But to reform that blue and black coal crawling through my heart and produce a river of diamonds, or at least a fountain of quartz, now that would be something to make the pain worthwhile. I wonder how much of Kerouac’s scrolls actually made it into Big Sur. There had to have been a ton which looked much like all the bile I cough up, but it was obviously left on the floor. So then my journal is the rucksack, and the gems, well, you have to wait and be as patient to read them as I am to write them. Those are the ones that I actually like reading myself. Because really this is for me, and you just have some spare time, choosing to spend it making sure I’m not dead.
It’s best that we leave our relationship pacific like that: a one-way current as unobtrusive and dispassionate as the weather. These words are the clouds, the sun, and the rain of my inviolate and detached life.