Wednesday, February 24, 2010
Rainy Day and H&H
Yesterday the rain continued uninterrupted from morning to night. I went to the Upper West Side for no real reason other than it was on the way to a reading at the Mercantile Library. I exited at W82nd St., and tried to think the trees into being picturesque. The neighborhood looked black and white under the drizzle. My imagination failed me. The weather was so gloomy that most people rushed by in a cloud of grumpiness. To cheer myself up, I bought an Everything bagel at H &H. Freshly made, it was so hot that I could barely eat it. Walking around was useless in all the damp, so I headed down into the subway. Even in the relative warmth of the subway, the steam from the bagel rose in lazy spirals. As I waited for the train to arrive, I practiced honing my character discernment skills. Narcissist, I thought of the one talking such a fast mean streak that all her friend could do was nod silently. Moth, I thought of the friend, doomed to be burned by the narcissist. Already the moth's chin sank into her chest, her shoulders slumped, and her anxious smile revealed anger over having her needs ignored by her friend's self absorption. Farther down the platform a thin man spread himself across two seats, oblivious to the crowd around him. He fiddled importantly with his blackberry. Male narcissist, I thought (there seem to be a disproportionate number on the UWS). Leaning on one of the subway pillars, a woman stood aloofly surveying the scene. Her eyes were gentle, yet she did not smile. Her face bore a not unkind hardness, a wise hesitancy to trust. Former moth, I thought, hardened but not broken by learning how to fend off the narcissist's slights. I felt a kinship to that woman. She looked like the type of person who would enjoy a piping hot H&H Everything bagel on a miserable day.