Leaving the Hamptons on the Jitney, heading to Manhattan to connect at Penn Station to the Northeast Regional, back to DC. "Life has passed me by," the thought in my mind to be meditated over, as I slump low in my seat on the shaded side of a full train, having lost the pretty girl in white with a low cut dress and tattoo hidden on her inner ankle in her low boot-like shoe in the scrum of getting to the right gate piled up like fish trying to get through, The Bhagavad Gita doing me no good.
Back to the bar, to work a Saturday night, I calmly patiently wait on everyone, put on my little act of French service, it's a quiet night, I'm left to close, and when the bar clears out, I run next door to the Chinese to order a late dinner before they close too. Empty quiet night, hardly a passer by on the street, but for cars that go by, going somewhere, some speeding, some not. And when I come back, there's a guy from the kitchen sitting at the bar, his long arms spread out, waiting for me. The young pastry chef joins him. He starts talking non-stop, sounding troubled. He talks about the fights with his wife and his year and a half old son, other problems that came about when he didn't exercise when he was a kid and they moved to Paris from the countryside. He is not unobservant to psychological aspects of people's lives.
Ah, New York, the style, the people, the energy, the clear air, the literary quality, its very presence... College funnels you in that direction, and you make a mistake if you don't go there, and now, at my age, and income level, far too late. I walk past the multitude of ghosts of actor friends and publishing worlds, editors, writers I could help, friends to make, interesting people, women I'd love to have dated, places where I could have fit in, stories to tell, ones that don't grow in the angry hierarchy of DC where one is left to martyr it out. The Empire State building towers above, and there are tour guides everywhere as well as people who want their services and I wonder why it is that I cannot stop too.
Doctor, there I am again, by the sidelines of the football game, homecoming, and she's sitting there, and one of her roommates passes on through one of my friends that I was her boyfriend the previous year, except she was rather harsh and abrupt when I called her the night before. My friends Jeffrey and Randy, I follow them as they go to smoke some weed and I reluctantly half-heartedly take a hit, and then I go back and stand by the cinder running track, and now I feel pretty stupid. She stands up, but I don't look up, what a fucking idiot. And there's a Times article I just read, about addiction, how it's a learning disability, a bad connection in the brain... Even if I'm not, reading things like that make you wonder, 'maybe I am...'
A kind young woman, an educated person, and I'm the jerk times a million. Not that I want to think about it anymore, just happens, try as I might, to forget it all.
Add that on top of my normal social anxieties... That kind of double duty thing.