Me . . . I've been doing a lot of art showings. Last night, I was at Windows, a small but popular gallery that deals in experimental photography. I met a forty-something writer that wouldn't move away from this black-and-white of the Scottish moors. Others moved along in line, sidestepping the walls, admiring one photo for a minute, then the next. They'd all get to her, and like I said, she wouldn't move, and there'd be this bump in the line. The writer said she had been there, to the moors, two years ago. It was part of the "journey" she went on to enrich her life experiences, so she could write better stories. I asked her about the moors but she ignored me. She brushed back her graying-blonde hair, tucked the length of it into the back of her sweater. She'd written three novels. Yeah, really, but couldn't get them published. She had a M.F.A. from Pittsburgh, she said.
I wished her luck on her book and went to listen to a band play at a club on M Street. Opening band was good (somebody called The Shins, out of Arizona), but after listening to them I had to go to the restroom. The music was beat heavy and shook the tiny bathroom I was in. Then -- when I came back, I was hit by fatigue (played lots of tennis earlier in the day, walked around town, effect magnified by a number of beers). I went up to a couple sitting at a table, asked them if I could take a seat, sat down, and conked out. When I woke up (the headlining band was really mellow, like really mellow) it was a different couple at the table, and they looked at me strangely. I faded between sleep and waked-ness, grunting every now and then before finally getting up and stumbling out of the club. Sitting on the ground next to the door, leaning against the wall, was a blond girl. Her features didn't register, as I had my contacts on and when I wake up with contacts I have no command over my vision for five minutes at a time or so. I stood outside for a while, looked right, looked left, looked right, looked left, rubbed my eyes, and decided to go down right. There was a little hole-in-the-wall pizza shop, and when I saw it I felt hunger pangs and went inside. As I stood and tried to make out the menu the blond girl came in (prettier than I could've hoped for), and started talking to me about the show. I chatted with her, somewhat coherently but not really. I tried to mack, I suppose. I usually fuck that sort of thing up. She smoked these thin cigarettes she said were called Brown Wrappers. The conversation ended when I mentioned going to see U2 the Tuesday before and she gave me a rather disdainful look along with a comment of her not being a fan. She left with a Diet Coke and I stuck around to order some gyros.
I took the Metro home. I like taking the Metro at night, having it mostly to myself, listening to the brucka-brucka-brucka of the tracks. Last night, on the way, a big black man wearing a Redskins jersey spoke loudly to his friend with these big, overblown gestures. At one point he yelled out loud, something to the extent of, "Fuck school! Fuck college!" Then he saw a gay couple near the doors and yelled at them while pointing theatrically, "Faggots! Faggots!" The couple got up in a huff and sat down at the end of the car, next to me. It was an interracial gay couple. The white guy had a pearl necklace, but not like, you know -- the porno kind. The Asian guy had on an orange tank top with the Rolling Stone logo. His legs were thick and muscular; he looked like a runner. The Asian was somewhat expressionless while the white guy was visibly upset. I shrugged at them. "What can you do," I meant.
I felt like I was a side-character in a novel, a bystander that wasn't connected to anyone else. I was just there, in the scenery but standing alone, watching the plot unfold.
This morning, I biked to a coffee shop, ordered a drink, and spent the afternoon looking at a girl in an apron top and scribbling in my notebook, trying to describe her. Not because I liked her, but because she stood out and I figured I'd use her as a subject for writing practice. Didn't turn out very well, I don't think.
[Forever after at http://eyeshot.net/hegwood.html]
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