Today I had lunch with someone who told me I looked tan, which was a nice optical illusion. On my way home this afternoon, I passed hundreds of people drinking beer and being loud; baseball season has started, and I wonder if these sports fans took the day off work to celebrate, or if they don’t work, or if they all have alternative schedules. I wondered if anyone questioned me walking around in my red raincoat when I should have been at work. I don’t think anyone actually looked at me.
The man next to me on the train rolled his own cigarette right before my stop. He said, “See, this is how it’s done,” to the guy across the aisle, “it doesn’t have to be perfect.” Perfection is almost always on my mind these days, and I wanted to ask more questions. I guess I should say I wanted to ask questions because the only questions I actually asked were in my own head. His friend seemed disinterested and not too thankful for the imperfect homemade smoke. If it had been perfect, maybe he would have said something else.
These smokers were talking about going to the zoo, but first they had to visit Mike. The cigarette recipient had to talk to Mike, make some apologies. Mike isn’t expecting them. I said, “excuse me,” and walked off the train.
Right now, there are people taking screaming group photos outside of my apartment. None of them live here, but maybe one time they did. They are all on vacation, reliving their glory days. I feel closer to Mike right now than I thought I would. I rarely hate hearing other people having fun, even if I’m trying to sleep before something important. I’ve always liked that about myself. Right now, though, I feel their screams scratching through my body, and I don’t even want to look at their smiling faces. They make me sad because later they’ll put these photos on the Internet and someone who wasn’t invited will look at them and be sad, too.
The photo session is over, and the silence feels like I left the house not knowing if I’d turned off the oven or not.