The business of a city

June 11, 2009

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Yesterday was a gray day—gray as in hard concrete, distinctly American, per E.’s response to the spelling of “gray.” A clattering of wooden sticks across the street kept time with my steps as the man watched me watch him play. Earlier in the evening, two men in a car repeatedly shouted the word “faggot” at a man on the sidewalk. Before that, a man and a woman stood at a bus stop arguing about their relationship, and the man constantly touched some exposed part of her—her hair, her shoulder, her arm, her forehead—claiming the limited bits of her to which he had access. Before that, a man cooed at a woman walking past him, only to curse her when she dismissed him with a wave of her hand, cursing her even after she’d turned the corner and disappeared into the park. Before that, I stepped into the path of abrupt anger—a drunk man hugged his friend, and his friend’s body heated up in the cool evening, this I could see clearly and still I moved toward them without breaking my stride, and just as I was in the line of fire, the friend freed himself, exploding: “Don’t touch me!” Before that, my dog and a beautiful pit bull–Labrador mix sniffed each other, their nose-tail dance forcing their humans to circle around each other as well, except that we stayed clear of the other’s tail, our noses tucked far above our earthiness, when his dog suddenly lunged at another rounding the corner, and we watched her leaping toward the new presence, that is, I saw the leap clearly in the way she was restrained by the leash, I saw in my mind her body follow through on the leap, and so I stepped in front of her in order to distract her, to calm her and return her to the sniffing stage of our acquaintance, but my dog had sat down, his ears having gone up and telling me to mind my own business.

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3 Responses to “The business of a city”

  1. lucas Says:

    I want a whole book of this.

  2. elizabeth Says:

    Yes, a whole book. The city about its business.

  3. Parmanu Says:

    Me too. When is it coming?


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