Negative G

New York - Times Square - July 1977

You can travel far on the internet without going anywhere.

Sunday afternoon at the street mall, in the coffee-shop.

The fast-food joint and the bistros are also open.

The staff is installed at a table near the bar. A big chunk of chocolate cake awaits the barista serving me. Her colleague eats a sandwich.

I go sit outside, where I can smoke, in a corner sheltered from the wet. I listen to the buildings drip drying, drops smacking the sidewalk. Each at its own beat.

Irregular foot traffic. A few passerby stop for a treat. Enough to create a background hum occasionally interrupted by steaming milk, banging porcelain and moving chairs. Others don’t stop. Squeaky sneakers, foot draggers and stompers. Friends, families and couples. Quiet conversations, loud discussions and occasional outbursts.

I envy Antoine’s uncomplicated relationship with Françoise. All the women I know want something more and complain about double standards. The ones I am attracted to are a mismatch to ones I want to meet.

The only solution to my life’s complications is time.

My social life is mostly on the internet. A way to wait for Godot.

Even there my social rustiness shows. I do best playing cryptic association games using obscure references. The number of players is limited. A passive-aggressive challenge. If you care, you will take the time to figure them out. Most observers see non-sequiturs.

I blather on without getting to the essential.

The career counselor’s forms request that I think about what I can do to overcome the obstacles to pursuing my goals. I leave the box empty.

“I don’t like the question.”


“It assumes I am doing nothing about them.”

I remember the old joke about being too busy doing nothing to do anything else.

Time takes time.

Now that I’m getting close to finishing a chapter, I am using age to hide my anxiety about starting a new journey.

2 thoughts on “Negative G”

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