I no longer care about the rain, the sound it makes, like giants pissing on the side of my building after pints and pints of lager. I no longer care about the way my boots lose traction only on the grates surrounding Market Street saplings. I no longer dodge the commuters going the opposite direction; I could close my eyes and it would be a trust exercise, because if I think too much about it, we end up in that side-to-side waltz for minutes.
On days like this, when the rain hisses like an old cassette, I could be anyone walking home from anywhere. Or maybe I wouldn’t be walking home at all. There’s an unspoken, unwritten rule on the subway: don’t look. If you look, you need something. You want something. Lack of eyes to eyes muddles connection and we are all stranded in the same direction, hunched forward against momentum, waiting and pretending not to see.
In the mornings, I take spy notes on a ferry passenger. I am not a very good spy, because I am easily distracted and infamously impatient. But I have quite a wealth of knowledge about this passenger now, and I’m proud of it. When I die, I’ll have spied on someone I didn’t even know, which is more than some people can say. I mean, it’s easy to spy on people you know. They show you everything just by being around you long enough. Try spying on a stranger in thirty-minute segments while half-asleep.
On days like today, I picture the ocean lifting up her curls and tossing droplets on all of us, children, scuttling underneath awnings and leaping crookedly over puddles. She just doesn’t understand why we don’t look, and look up.