Wake up twice to sexts and showers running–always intersecting the lives of relative strangers–and the dry-mouthed realization that your discarded clothes litter the floor like so many ruinous plastic bags in the ocean. Wade your own filth to present yourself to a pillbox. Say hello to Ms. Saturday, hello to Ms. Sunday, and swallow. More duty than happiness in action and effect.
Wear exhaustion like a heavy coat and warm your hands with pizza breakfast. Your roommate’s dog is too depressed to try begging. It is easy to give up when you don’t have thumbs, and also in general. Glance out the window for the weather: the window is smashed. You punched it in your last blackout rage; you recall briefly thinking, “This bitch ass window can’t take a punch.” True!
Call Home Depot and explain that you want to buy a window, not a window treatment, and argue whether dimensions are read length-by-width or width-by-height (you get it wrong). Ride a Q train to Manhattan that stinks like skunk weed so bad a teenager gets on and immediately blushes.
Get to Home Depot: they send you to window treatments. Find windows. A pile of a man in an orange vest, with skin like packed sausage, coughs the emphysema out of his lungs as his look calls you both liberal and queer. He threatens to shake the skin tags off his crow’s feet as he barks at you about window brands, and the exclusivity of window brands, which is a great source of drama in his life. Leave Jabba stranded in the bad Twilight Zone set that is a window showroom.
Text your roommates the bad news to curt replies. They’d usually condescend, what with you being boyish and thin-wristed, but now everyone’s a bit confused on what to do with Punchy the Angry Twink Wonder. Call the landlord, who declares you a nonemergency. Hang up.
Go hide out at your grad school, which they’ve rented out to preteens for the day so adolescent try-hards can jockey for King of the Nerds. They’ve consequently locked all the study room doors and, since you are paying a measly $20k a semester and deserve no office, you have to go hide under a stairwell to find some privacy, like a knock off Harry Potter.
A precocious young girl startles when she finds you, admitting that she wanted to go look at the views on the higher floors. In a delightful metaphor, the only view you have from school is blocked out by taller surrounding buildings. She patters off, embarrassed for no reason, and will retain her virginity for the next decade. Go back to fishing for dick on Grindr.
Call your dad about windows, which he is an expert on because he is a dad. He manages to explain the process of removing and reinstalling a window without the use of any nouns beside “thing”. Fondly recall the yearly tradition of trying to get him to spell “lasagna” for the Thanksgiving menu. (He’s figured out the ‘s’ but patently refuses to acknowledge the ‘g’.)
Buy a coffee and poop.
Walk thirty blocks to see if it will make you stop resenting every decision you’ve ever made. Stop by an indian grocery store and buy $25 worth of cardamom and Kashmiri chili powder. They are very, very nice to you and you decide that Taste of India is the only grocer you will ever patronize, except that you will never find it again because googling its name brings up 50,000 results.
Eat chicken tikka masala alone. A baby stares at you over her father’s shoulder. She can’t decide if she likes you or not, which is something you have in common.
Head uptown to watch UFC fights with some training buds from the martial art a kid with anger issues shouldn’t be learning. There’s a $20 cover–go around the corner to a hotel lobby and do homework instead. $20 is an absurd amount of money to spend on happiness.
The concierge judges you for wearing two hoodies and conspicuously charging every electronic device you own. Refresh Grindr so often it freezes. Debate between going back to the bar or getting your dick wet; hooking up is cheaper, so–
Stop at a Rite Aid and buy gum and nail clippers. Clip your nails in the god damn street like a savage as you walk up to his place.
He is a Cape Cod fucker with a perfect jaw line, groomed to a tee with a body that says, “Yeah, I have a kickboxing instructor.” A gentleman, he offers you a glass of water and invites you to masturbate with him in his living room.
He was watching Batman when you came in so you think he won’t judge the Gengar t-shirt you forgot you are wearing, but oh–no. He looks at you like the mistake you think you are.
Strip. You are also wearing white underwear and thermals. When you laugh about this he removes them. His penis is small and he won’t kiss you. Great pecs, though.
He loves that you’re unkempt, but only when you’re naked. Again you’ve become the idea of a man, a fetish, not human or whole. But I mean, you also agreed to this before you exchanged names. He finishes on himself and puts his clothes back on immediately. What a way to ruin a polo.
He freaks out when you go to wash your hands because he’s afraid you’ll wipe your dick all over his hand towels. His bathroom is made up like a shore house–blue, ocean themed, potpourri, a picture of seashells with the quote “Friends are everywhere.” They really are.
Realize that the subway platform you’re waiting on is the last place you had a fight with your ex before you broke up. Your life is an Arthur Miller play, or maybe New York is.
On the ride home a 19 year old with green hair tells his friends how exhausted he is traveling back and forth from LA with the production company that hired him out of high school. He wears a billowy coat with fine tendrils coming off it that flow, making him look like a swatch of algae.
Do math homework in a pokemon t-shirt while algae boy goes out and drinks with his friends. You turn 25 in a month.
Get home. Your roommate’s dog is too indifferent to receive you. This dog has stared into the abyss. Sit. You’ve walked sixty blocks. Your backpack smells like curry. Your hands smell like the ocean. Somewhere your friends are cheering in a bar as two men beat the life out of each other. Your crotch itches. Look out at the moon–the window is broken.