Im sitting in the dimly lit cafe on St. Marks. A small candle flickers near the salt and pepper shakers on each table. Each table that is, except mine. I only notice because it's hard to read the pages of my book. The left side is ok, but the right page has this shadow that half covers it. I tilt the book back and forth to move the stubborn shadow. I squint at the candle on the table in front of me. Evelyn sees me squinting and moves the candle to my table. Evelyn is Jaylene's little sister. She'd informed me upon my entrance "Oh shit, you missed them! They came early, and JUST left!" I wracked my brain trying to remember when Jay told me she was leaving New York. At the moment, she was on her way uptown. A message on a cell phone was all that was legal by the the crippling laws of physics. I'd decided to have dinner anyway, and wait, and hope for a call back. A round, white plate of mushroom ravioli in creamy basil suace, a glass of Pinot Grigio. My candle. My book. The warm brick walls and The Cure playing in the background. Voices ebbing and flowing over the tables. I imagine I am in a small Paris cafe, because I need an escape from my familiar environment. I wonder what everyone is carrying in their pockets. Perhaps not jellybeans. Perhaps receipts and fuzz, some keys or a condom in anticipation. Two women walk in. A stroller, a baby. One of the women is breastfeeding. I notice some young men glancing at her. Did they find it erotic? Were they uncomfortable yet facinated? They turn back to their table talk and I turn the page in my book. Should I be reading someone else's observations and reveries, or doing it first hand, myself? I debate this topic without english. My nose is in a book and the world goes by. I look up. The breastfeeding woman has beautiful, long, dark blonde hair. It's almost to her ass, straight, except for a side piece that is pulled up into a little bun on the side of her head, fastened with a red chopstick. She and her friend are moving from the center table to the other side of the room, near the wall. I am warm here. I will come back, next time with friends. I love Paris.
The cell phone rings. It's Jay. Thank the lord. 67th and Columbus.
She is beautiful. I love my Jaylene. Bohdi is a bitchy tired baby. She immediatly asks me to fill in the drama of the past week. I tell her all about it. She jokes that I need to write her everyday just to keep up with the men and the randomness.
"Eugene is so boring and I am so lonely.", she says.
I am immediately sad. I miss her and she has not left my sight yet. I wish I could wrap myself around Jay and protect her: protect her from the lonely, the sleepless nights, the self-doubtful thoughts. She deserves better than she has. We are sitting near the door of the coffee shop. Between the cold wind and Bohdi, we are picking up our straws and napkins off the floor every 2 minutes. I have my coat draped over my shoulders. She raves about my hair. I notice she's bleached the ends of her jet black mane. "Thought you weren't going to do any alterations." "I lied."
Bohdi is still breast feeding. Children are leaches in every way. No, people are. Naturally they are, but this can be changed.
an ultra skinny asian girl stands in line for coffee. I decide I wouldnt sleep with her, not ever. Not that I had a choice anyway.
I take the 1 train uptown to 72nd and transfer to the downtown. All this subway construction on the weekends is highly annoying.
Im meeting Jay for lunch and shopping in SoHo tomorrow. I wont be buying anything, but maybe I can help look after the leach while she gets something pretty for herself.