– Rounding the corner at Eckford, I espied the selfsame crone who’d cursed me so vigorously on Black Friday. She was up to her usual tricks, camped out at the Greenpoint Avenue station, asking passersby for a hand with her suitcases and garbages.
I’d confessed the incident to some friends here, and they’d all said the same thing: that the crone is known; that she is confined to Greenpoint, constrained as if by magical collar; that she shuffles back and forth all the live-long day between our neighborhood’s two subway stations; that she has no destination and so much time.
It made me feel for her, a bit. Not enough to touch her stuff. I wondered how the curse was doing inside me, when it would breach the waters of my everyday life like some barnacle-riddled and stinking whale to capsize my boat.
After work Rachel came by to get high and come with me to No Lights, No Lycra, my favorite Tuesday-night jet-black church basement dance class. The best songs of the night: “Run the World (Girls)” by Beyonce, “Sorry” by Justin Bieber, “All I want for Christmas Is You” by Mariah Carey, and my personal favorite, “Common People” by Pulp. We used to listen to that song in college, driving around the backwaters of central Missouri, rocking out so effortfully we nearly got into a dozen wrecks. I swept the irony of dancing to a song about class warfare in a gentrified Brooklyn neighborhood under the rug and promptly freaked the freak out.
When the lights came on, we gathered our coats in our arms and walked down Nassau towards the bars on Franklin. We settled in at the Tender Trap, drank a couple drinks, caught up. It’s a punk bar and Rachel said she once went in with her lesbian friends only to find they were playing hardcore hetero pornography on big screens in the back room. It’s a cool spot, but kind of pricey for a smut peddler.
I walked home and called Dan, took a shower and laid down quite tired and rather pleased.