Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Times Square, 2011

(Not much is going on right now that doesn't involve me completely bitching about work, so I'm taking this opportunity to post something I wrote about a year ago. The photo is a still from the film "Coffee and Cigarettes", directed by Jim Jarmusch)

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He didn't catch up with me again until the winter of my 27th year. We locked eyes above the crowd in a busy Times Square coffee shop and my heart skipped a beat-- an affliction I had wrongly assumed that I had left behind with my teenage years. As I ordered my latte and deliberated whether or not to speak to him, and what was the proper thing to say in such a situation...? he approached me.

He greeted me by my business name and I was taken aback. Introducing himself to me as a journalist from a nearby paper and using an alias as well, he informed me that he'd like a quick interview with me. We shook hands, all mittens and gloves in the New York winter. I searched his eyes for a glimmer of recollection but there was none; he had no idea who I was.

I agree to an unbelievably quick interview, since I was simply taking a coffee break and had to get back very shortly. He asks me very basic questions about myself... he is the portrait of a young journalist who has not done his research. If he had, he would know who I am, not just who I pretend to be. He would remember.

He asks me how it is I came to be where I am today. It is with a sad smile that I inform him simply, while never breaking eye contact: "The wrong people let me go, and the right people kept me." He jots it down, not understanding its relevance. I find myself thinking of all the nights we spent with our bodies intertwined, and suddenly I have to go.

I stand and he thanks me for my time. Another mittened handshake. I smile and tell him it was nice to talk to him again. I call him by his birth name. I know where he comes from.

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