Now I have to work.
Only 1,112 words in two and a half hours? What the fuck.
656 of them:
But because I’m awake so early I can take very long showers, competing with very few others in my apartment building for hot water. I use a shampoo and conditioner, bar soap on my ears, a face wash for dry skin since it’s winter time in New England. I use a body scrub with a moisturizing wash made by Adidas especially for women and developed with athletes. I like the idea of professional athletes—the German women’s soccer team, especially, including the non-starters, the bench warmers—lined up in shower stalls, oohing and aahing over the way the soap smells, the way it makes their skin feel, while laboratory scientists in white coats take notes from behind a wall of glass. I like this idea so much that on some mornings I lean a hand against a wall of the shower and masturbate with the other, although my fingers become not my own. They are, on mornings when I want to be fucked slowly and with purpose, Sonja Fuss’, and when I want it furious, and on these mornings leaning with my forehead instead of my hand, Conny Pohlers’. Adidas make a citrus and cotton milk version of this soap, but I prefer the aloe vera one myself.
And even with this much time, and with the new coffee maker that I bought after the incident at Kate’s café at a store that sells gourmet foods and chef-quality knives behind a locked plexi-glass door, the kind that grinds the coffee all by itself, I still don’t make my way into the kitchen to put on a pot and wait for it to brew. Instead I grab my bag and leave my apartment in the dark.
For the past month and a half I’ve gone for coffee at the convenience store that sits on the corner of my street and the city’s main drag. There it is pre-made and waits for you to serve yourself. There are always six pots on six burners, each pots’ rim a different color for different flavors. Every morning I’ve chosen the green one: Columbian roast.
At the counter I leave a dollar and a quarter while the attendant sits on a stool, his back half-turned to the counter, and snaps his gum while he fingers through the morning paper. On some days he will say hello and when he does I wave, but I’ve never seen him move to collect what I’ve left for him.
The coffee is shit. Even at 6:00 a.m, it’s shit. Even if the pot is full, the coffee maker still steaming and sputtering from post-brew exhaustion, it is thick, soupy, and bitter. Sugar packets cannot fix this. Creamer will curd and sour. By the time I make my way to the subway station, I’m already looking for the trash, and my coffee is the first thing in it, the first thing to hit it’s new tin liner.
But on this morning, I hold my coffee cup close to my chest as the subway train shakes its way through the underground tunnels. I hold it and I watch my reflection in the dark windows, my legs crossed, my bag on my lap. This ride is exactly 27 minutes long.
And after I take the stairs, a three-story climb, and pass through the turnstiles on the way out to the street, I stand by the boxes that hold the free newspapers and peel back the (mouth part) of the lid. When I drink, I can feel my face, my throat, react, and I swallow back a cough. And it is a woman walking by who gives me a strange smile and perplexed look after watching me drink, after noticing the convenience store’s logo on the cup, and then proceeds to shake her head as if to say, What a waste, what a waste, who helps me decide that today is the day that I will go back to see Kate.