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It’s hard to trust the world, even if it’s rock worth standing on. I was talking to a friend who’s recently engaged. It was hard for me, initially, I told her, to see couples hold each other dearly. There was this moment in the weeks soon after I’d moved into my own place, when I was in Bed Bath and Beyond trying to pick up cheap curtains. The light had been coming in the windows and waking me early from drunken slumber, and splitting pains in my skull were killing me. I wanted to shut it out and pursue my sleeping. So I went to the basement of this Manhattan superstore, looking for drapes. While I looked at the selection, this couple started arguing next to me. It was obvious they were selecting the color that would shade their new living together. It made me sick; I wanted to yell at them. Instead I chose my drab curtains and left. Things continued that way for some time. Caresses on the platform, hands held in the park. All of it nauseous. Then one day it stopped. The fragile lives people threw themselves into no longer offended me. Offended: more, slammed my solar plexus with the weight of what I’d lost. And I started to see their choices as misguided perhaps, probably fated, but as glimmering all the same. At least some of them.

I need new curtains.

Categories: Asides.

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