Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Vapor Trail

He thought she'd probably be gone before he even got there, and when he pulled up to the house, when he saw the empty driveway and the windows shut tight, he was certain of it. But he got out of the car anyway. Went up and rang the bell. Knocked on the window and called out her name, the whole bit.

She sounded strange on the phone, that's what brought him over here halfway across the county in the first place. Stoned or something, though she swore up and down she didn't do that anymore, swore those days were past her. She sounded a little too happy and disconnected. He didn't tell her he was coming, he'd learned the hard way not to tip his hand like that, but she must've heard it in his voice. She must've had the car keys in her fist before she even hung up the phone.

He stood there for another minute, shaking his head and staring at her goddamn locked door. Ringing the bell again and listening to it echo around inside. A landscaping truck drove past, slowing down just a little before continuing on. An airplane climbed up along the horizon. He stood there for another minute before giving up. Then he headed back down towards his own parked car, the engine still ticking away under the hood.

Monday, April 26, 2010


"Cowbirds are brood parasites, laying their eggs in the nests of other birds and leaving them to the care of foster parents. Unlike parasitic Old World cuckoos, which lay eggs closely resembling those of a host species, cowbirds lay eggs in the nests of more than 200 other species, mostly smaller than themselves. Some host species eject the unwanted egg, others lay down a new nest lining over it, but most rear the young cowbird as one of their own. The young cowbird grows quickly at the expense of the young of the host, pushing them out of the nest or taking most of the food. It has been suggested that cowbirds became parasitic because they followed roving herds of bison and had no time to stop to nest."

- Audubon Field Guide,
North American Birds

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Monday, April 5, 2010

Yellows and Blues

Gray sits next to me in the hotel bar, sweating against the cold and drinking back his scotch. He's all twisted up over this girl, this painter he met out in Williamsburg, some off-the-boat Irish girl with a rose tattooed to the side of her hand. I haven't seen him like this in twenty years.

"She's slipping past me," he keeps saying. He chews down on an ice cube and signals for another drink. "She's slipping right past me."

As far as I can gather, he met her at a party he wasn't even planning on going to, one of those industrial loft deals where you have to shout up from the sidewalk below, where you can never find a taxi to bring you back home. Everybody chain-smoked and drank Rolling Rock straight out of the bottle. Talked about their "work" in falsely modest tones. This girl was 19 years old.

"I look at this painter over on Avenue C she wants to show me, some trust fund junkie she came across, and I like them. At least for a little while. 'Oh, look at that yellow. Look at that blue!' I sound like a kid. Just pure spontaneous responses. I can't remember the last time... I mean, she leaves the room and they're shit again, same old derivative crap. But, man. When she's in that room..."

"A nineteen year old kid."

"Right. Exactly. And she's good, she's really good. And in ten years, she plays her cards right, she's going to be huge. She's going to be huge and if she remembers me at all she's going to remember me as this fat cynical old piece of shit hack. Some critic. And that already breaks my heart. Because I do like her. I like her a lot. And I'm going to miss all those yellows and blues."