I never know what to say to a human being when someone it cares about dies. I could be a better it. I am vulnerable to other people’s all-caps and emoticons.

Someone said something on the train this morning that made me reevaluate my existence: “A techno version of ‘The Time of My Life’ … that’s all I’ve ever wanted.” My priorities must be screwed up but dentists are gotdam liars. Look up “pusillanimous” and use it in a conversation today and use it to describe me.

Another human being said this: “It’s weird watching movies where people aren’t getting shot.”

The subway gave me a card at my work stop with a message when I needed one, in an envelope, unsigned. It was taped to a steel I-beam with chipped paint that revealed a thick rainbow of thin layers, history, the rings in trees. I snatched it and opened it. The card had a horseshoe and a shamrock and said, “No lies. Just love.”

Lunch could have been better. It was too sweet and not enough spicy. “Filipinos are the Asian Irish,” someone said and someone else said, “Well, Russians are the white Puerto Ricans.”

It occurred to me that “take a nip” might be a nipple reference. I passed the bottle to my friend and he said, “I don’t get art.” See, I will listen to a new song I love on repeat until I hear it when it is not playing, but if I listen to a recording of myself reading a story I wrote, it creeps me the fuck out. I hate listening to myself talk when I am not talking.

A human being on the evening train said: “Keep your friends close but your … I don’t get that quote. Why would you keep your enemies closer?”

I walked home and a bunch of birds, a lot of little brown dots, flew at my face and I blinked and while I blinked they must have flown through me. A small girl dropped a large pizza while her mother dug in a purse for keys at the front door of our building. The mother told her it was okay and the girl picked up the box and held it under her arm like a book and the mother calmly told her to hold the box flat and went back to searching for the keys. I had my keys in hand and bags of groceries dangling from fingers and I opened the door and held it for them and the girl was holding the pizza upside down and the mother calmly asked her to turn it over and the little human being screamed, “STOP TELLING ME WHAT TO DO! I AM HOLDING THE BOX RIGHT!”

)-:

I heard a song in my elevator-head that was not playing and I cried a little even though I did not understand the words. A human being’s morning was still in my sink: orange peels and dirty dishes and coffee grounds and egg shells.