Wendy Lotterman – The Runners
Sunday, November 3, 2013
Worst case scenario:
the MTA does not give me back my $112
for the first charge that didn’t give me more time.
I got more, producing the proof of two swipes
that collide in one 30 day run of a double indulgence
I didn’t mean below Myrtle on Sunday. I guess I can just
deny myself $112 worth of activities in the month to come,
swapping the bar with my mom and collapsing
the latter half of the day into a single meal, the second
superimposed on the first, just like the purchase I cannot get over.
The public hotline doesn’t get that I’m young, the stakes of this
towering not like the highest building in the world,
but maybe the tallest in Brooklyn, which I walked by today
on my way back from watching the runners pour down Lafayette
in a neat, self-regulating sequence of increasing age & fatigue.
I did get that this was momentous, many times over, by volume,
the crowds progressing through the cavity created by the crowds,
stagnant on the sides. So many neon fabrics fail to highlight the
single line they run over, the runner, sporting hot citrus just as
every other, gaining nothing in the proliferated showiness of
Nike’s well executed sell. Each swatch of it wicking self-regulating
beads of moisture away from the laborer whose temperature is
up to some other shit, indifferent to the sympathy of salt that
now rains down on him. Where do they wick it away?
Some were handing out Haribo gummy bears to stragglers,
lured & sunk by the simple math of losing a few seconds
in a race already heckling their heels for the relief of
some fifteen drops of bear-shaped sweetness, so limited in
a fun-sized edition, no-doubt straggling, just as they are,
behind the ones gifted to kids on Thursday. Halloween was so
awkwardly placed this year, perfectly flanked by two buffers
that relieved me of the need to compete in a relay I lost as a kid.
I was so terrified by the preface to a routine loss of singularity
that I was taken to a warehouse full of Broadway costumes,
and got one so inimitable that I was too embarrassed to wear it.
I have been a pumpkin for every year since. It is so much easier to
sell theories that dress up in pop, safe inside the softness of
cotton batting, the flesh of the drupe, a commonality so disinterested in
prestige that I can smuggle razors therein lodged as a pit, asserting private shape,
like the Furby’s plastic center, chirping tenets on loop, gaining amnesty
from the commercial triumph of the cute, bear-shaped exterior, while stealing
something of its ability to soothe, the hard voice box threatening the soft costume that absolves it.
Today feels easy. I only watched the runners expel everything into the valley I created
with my sideline volume on Lafayette. I got a free bagel at the party on the stoop,
which formed the bank of the road where Dana’s roommate stopped and
cried for a second, before leaving her family to wonder why. Some figured
the stress fracture was bearing it all in this attempt to elevate all-weather human omnipotence
above the arbitrary date of an annual event. I relieve stress as I take breakfast. This bagel,
removing a solid dollar off my anxiety, not quite plentiful enough for me to feel
the dent of its charity, but ever since the obsession of Oakland on replay, I have
been telling myself that moments of unprecedented excess do repeat with
new content claiming the fresh vacancy of familiar slots. This is just one.
There may not be 111 more to come just as warm & delicious as this, the others
bearing shapes I can’t summon, like colors without name. I feel that dinner reservations
must be some sort of strategic bait that promises future instances of my frame to be
the same as the one that’s now prisoner to its current collapse, knowing that this fact can be
swallowed, prophylactic like the zinc tablets I’ve been downing since last night. To be clear,
I am totally loving this extra hour, daylight saves me and continues to thrill beyond
its logical appeal, as the effects of helium, balloon sucked after countless balloon.
The fog I woke up in is equal to that of last Saturday—the morning suffix to
taxing aerobics of nights before, though this time not tied to the lovesick heats
of Friday with a foreigner in Park Slope. The fog envelops me, soft like the cotton
that sells me, stealing everything of the voice box dislodged in my center, misaligned
because, God, I can’t seem to catch up on the sleep I would need to proceed
from the center in a way such that I recognize the pitch, mine, contiguous,
without the blur of 3D imagery, glimpsed from a poverty of glasses. I grow big
inside the simplicity of empty replies, like I just texted Hannah: “it’s ok”
to something already implicitly fine and yet pertaining to a bigger picture
so delicate that the blandness of my back-and-forth might just say
something of the blasphemy I perceive in the contamination of this past with the
heartbreakingly arbitrary vocabulary of its extemporaneous exit. It pertained to
Dana, or the superimposition of myth on a person I hung out with this morning.
These zinc tablets have changed the taste of my tongue, which changes
the taste of everything, so I have resolved to eat nothing but these, agreeing
to a conceit not present in the making but definitely selling the good beyond
its worth. I covet the small economy of Haribo sweetness, doled out to the river but not
the bank, the one I form in solidarity with the spectacular solid on the concrete.
I have to call my bank, let them know of the charge I stuttered in my
Sunday fog. For now I eat only zinc, knocking off dollars that I swallow
for all they’re worth. The marathon runs dry. I go get hummus at Black Iris with Dana,
my teacher from boarding school who invited me to the stoop in the first place.
This is the only part that matters. I mourn the cost, exaggerate the negligence of
the way I digest, bearing today my kiddish ways that invite what
baggy concern I once learned how to love and renounce back in
boarding school, weaning slowly, vestigial to this day.
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