It’s 6: 50 P.M., Friday May 17thMay , 2019.
I’m sitting in my car alone facing east on Hempstead Turnpike in Germany. I’m parked on the side of the road with my hazard lights on. I have what I think is a broken transmission. It’s starting to get much darker. What was once white lined paper is now foggy neon blue from the street lights that line the slick wet pavement underneath a dull gray sky. Coasting by are the occasional stragglers left over from rush hour. The metallic ‘pang’ of sparse raindrops interrupts my thoughts. Like a dull audience, they muster up an unsynchronized applause – a forced recognition of existence. An obligatory attention.
The tow truck guy just called. He had a kind of Spanish accent mixed with that unenthusiastic tone – that kind of routine dialect of the New Yorker at work.
I never write. I couldn’t tell you whether I sound predictably simple – a failed attempt to resemble a bad Hemingway knockoff – or self-centered and infantile the way a high school freshman does in his History class. The kind of kid who thinks his droning and numbness will make his teacher like him. That he’ll want to “get through” to him so as to bring about his true potential. To summon the natural gifts he daydreams about but doesn’t actually have. Personally, if I’m being honest, I’m just trying to make this sound good. I don’t really even know what good is, but I’m trying to make this sound like it. I have nothing to lose and nowhere to go right now. I’m trying so hard to make this sound good that I’ve even put my knees together in an attempt to keep this tiny notepad from falling on the floor as I write – abandoning the accepted masculine sitting positions.
It’s 8:51. My knees are still together. My nose is starting to run and my feet have a cold stiffness to them. I can feel the chill off the glass from the evening temperature. The way the air hits the back of your throat when you open the freezer door.
Alright so the tow truck guy is about to show up and I have to end this. I’m not happy but I’m definitely not sad.
Is that what I want? Is being content what I want? Not too up, not too down? Steady? Even keel?