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Alex Carnevale

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Pretty used to being with Gwyneth

Regrets that her mother did not smoke

Frank in all directions

Jean Cocteau and Jean Marais

Simply cannot go back to them

Roll your eyes at Samuel Beckett

John Gregory Dunne and Joan Didion

Metaphors with eyes

Life of Mary MacLane

Circle what it is you want

Not really talking about women, just Diane

Felicity's disguise

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« In Which We Begin To See Other People »

"Jumping", Gladys Nilsson



When he told me he thought I should see other people, I jumped at the chance to please him. 

I saw, in no particular order: 

— a barber named Lenny with a bald spot between his eyebrows

—  a much older man, but only because we took the same bus every day

— the insides of too many peanut-butter sandwiches

— an accountant, Chris, whose number fell out of my pocket at the same moment I saw him reading Game of Thrones on the Brown Line

— a man who bit his fingernails and then touched his iPhone

— Rahm Emanuel at the finish line of a 5K

— my neighbor’s chocolate lab, the existence of whom we were ordered to vehemently deny

— a person I believed to be Robert Downey Jr

— three waiters at breakfast joints who denied they had Earl Grey

— a gentleman with whom I exchanged no words, only glances, over piles of underthings at the laundromat

— a woman who whispered “Thank you, Jesus” when another woman got off the train

— the Turkish Consul General at Lenny’s barber shop

— a hipster who vocalized the “x” in “xmas”

— Chris, in a bookstore; I pretended I didn’t recognize him

— someone shorter, but only because we were sitting down the whole time

Lady Chatterley’s Lover

— a small child eating a piece of kimchi

— an ancient hippie listening to a transistor radio outside the public library

— an otherwise educated-looking individual who referred to the store as “Bloomie’s”

— a man who vacuumed and shouted into his telephone at the same time

— five-thirty AM

— two women who mistakenly equated “yes, I live here” with “I know the name and location of every restaurant in the city”

— a woman on a regional train who took off her shoes and put on slippers for the three-hour trip

— Canadians

— a young woman carrying a Target bag inside a beat-up J. Crew bag inside a beat-up Anthropologie bag

— Madonna’s hands on another person

— a man who reached out to touch my elbow although he was surrounded by women and I was trying to ignore him

— someone swimming in Lake Michigan

— an abandoned chicken nugget

— a man who knelt to pray over a homeless mother and child, then stood up and walked away

— no snow

— three Santas near the tree in Daley Plaza

— Lenny’s cousins, all equally bald except for one

— a couple in the bar across the street; I made bets on whether or not they’d hook up

— a person who opened a K-cup and ate the coffee grounds inside as if they were yogurt

—  a row of women with equally straightened hair and identical Longchamp bags waiting for the train at Southport

— a man on the train who poured coffee from his travel mug into a used Starbucks cup

— a banker, a financial advisor

— one of my old French students in a beret (he attributed it to the weather)

— an average number of doctors and lawyers

— two people who made uncomfortable small talk during the entire commute simply because they happened to be acquainted and on the same train

— Chris’ mother buying nylons at TJ Maxx

— a cashier at Trader Joe’s who tapped into the rich inner emotional life of the woman in front of me while simultaneously checking her apples for bruises

— a baritone

— the bottom of two boxes of Raisin Bran

— a man who flossed through an entire episode of Parks & Recreation

— Lenny’s ex, who finished his sentences and his plate of spaghetti

—  a street performer singing carols off key

—  someone else leaving a friend’s party early, although presumably not for the same reason

— drunk boys who could presumably still afford cabs

—  Chris, again, over lunch, but only because he insisted and agreed to stop reading G.R.R. Martin

—  my hairdresser standing in line at the bank with an updo

— the UPS delivery man who left me three notices in beautiful calligraphy

— Lenny, the morning after

— the chocolate lab peeing on the landlord’s roses

Kara VanderBijl is the senior editor of This Recording. She is a writer living in Chicago. She last wrote in these pages about Downton Abbey. She twitters here and tumbls here

Paintings by Gladys Nilsson.

"Hunting For You" - Robbie Williams (mp3)

"Different" - Robbie Williams (mp3)

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Reader Comments (1)

:) very loverly.
December 18, 2012 | Unregistered Commenteranumeha

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