Addict on the street

Addict on StreetMissed it.

One of the few good veins remaining.

“No!” she shouts, followed by an obscenity. “Nooooooo…”

She’s on the ground, cross-legged, roiling behind some shrubbery as if it’s a shield. But we see through it.

She appears frenzied, as if she could do something regrettable at any moment.

There’s nothing warm about this day. Nothing in her belly; nothing covering her hands.

A flash of flesh; her forearm blinds passersby, highlighting the besieged skin from prior pokes.

She just wants it in, but her veins warn against it. “Don’t use me for this. I don’t want that kiss.”

Yet she jabs and slaps and squeezes to make something happen, something that used to be magic.

It’s just that there’s no one remaining except a sad, swearing girl behind the curtain.


The angry woman on the sidewalk

Angry woman on the sidewalk“Excuse me!”

I shout it. It’s out of my mouth too quickly but I’m glad.

I can feel my eyes widen, and hers meet mine.

She looks as if she wants to be helpful; as if she hasn’t just crossed right in front of my path to get into some store. She doesn’t even  notice. The nerve.

I hurry up to meet her as she asks, “Yes?”

“Why’d you have to cut me off?” I’m still shouting. I can’t help it.

She looks confused. Ha! Just because I was a few feet away, just because she probably thinks she could’ve gotten inside without slowing me down.

Doesn’t matter. The nerve.

“I’m sorry,” she stutters. “I really didn’t mean to.”

Bullshit. Let those cheeks go red.

“Oh yes you did,” I say, quieter this time. My head is cocked and my eyes are wide and she looks a bit frightened.


“I really didn’t,” she tries again, like a moron.

I don’t want to look at those pleading eyes any longer. Even if it’s better than not being noticed at all. I walk off, thump my hand upside my head.

Some people. Idiots.


The Brooklyn barista

The coffee shop employee in Brooklyn

He smiles so hard it makes you happy and exhausted all at once. Makes you remember the days when you had smiles like exhalations; one with every breath.

He seems to genuinely want to give you something to warm your belly or cool your overheated vessel. Perhaps it’s gratifying to provide the liquid that refuels; that many deem more important than kindness.

Maybe he’s forcing it, but it’s a good sell.

These streets of asphalt and exhaust fumes, aren’t they known for being full of vehicles – mechanical and otherwise – that go fast and hard and harried?

Yet here you are, smiling before sunrise, steeping me something sweet.

You told me to have a nice day. Sometimes, when genuine, that sticks.