I left the shop, texting Musette that I was on my way. She wrote me back, telling me that she was outside smoking her schmiggy.
I immediately called her and asked her where she meant by ‘outside’.
Outside the subway, she said.
The one by our home…
Go home, I told her. I’m just getting out. I had to help Ulric and Linda move some boxes. They came in right at the end of my shift. It’s going to take me a while to get to you. I’m not even on the subway yet.
Okay. She said, not sounding mad. She was probably a little relieved. I’m sure that she wanted to go home. It was so cold outside. The problem was that she would have to come back out when I arrived. I was relieved about this because it meant that I wouldn’t have to come back out once I got home. She would be bringing Carlo with her.
She was waiting for me outside the stop when I got there. The dog was with her. I had my headphones in. My queue had buffered long enough to last me the whole ride. I had been reading Ralph Waldo Emerson. My personality was affected. I felt grounded. This is one thing that I’ve enjoyed about the winter, the allowed opportunity to take the subway. I am reading more. The subway is my favorite place to read. I don’t read as much at home as I do on the train. Thank God we are living in these times wherein I can load a book onto my phone and carry it comfortably in my jacket pocket. Phones are great for reading on. You can hold them in one hand and there’s no worry about the pages bending in on themselves, losing your place.
We walk home rapidly. Musette’s done with being outside. We don’t even kiss. And that’s okay. I’m a big boy. A man. I can’t deny it. You don’t have to be thirty to be a man. You don’t have to have a child. I’m already there. I am able to control my emotions. I am self contained. Every emotion that I have doesn’t have to surface. I can deal with myself. I have an advantage being a writer. Through this medium, I am able to release my emotions full bore. Musette gave me permission. I can say as many mean things about her as I want as long as they’re true. That doesn’t mean that I can’t delve into exaggeration, but there’s a limit. You’ve got to sharpen the important moments, manipulate time, become a time lord, especially we heroes.
Come on, Cameron, I hear the audience say. What are you going to do next? Your only obligation as a writer is to your writing, and when your life is the subject of your writing, you have an obligation to make things happen. You’ve got to control reality. You’ve got to say those things that are able to move the moments forward. That’s why I keep moving around. Some of you think that I’m here in New York to look for publications, editors, etc, but it’s really just the being here that makes the difference. Having risen to this mountain peak, I push forward through the icy peak winds closer to the day I do or don’t tell my boss to shove it. Wouldn’t you guys like that? Wouldn’t it help drive the story forward? But you know that it shouldn’t happen. Not yet. I’ve got to take what I can from this place. I even got a raise. Ulric gave me fifty cents more on the hour. It’s like he took the tiniest little chunk of Enrique’s pay and divied me this pithing. No problem. I’ll take it. I even supported Bernie Sanders, I say.
I gave his campaign five dollars.
Don’t you think that maybe you could at least double that, Ulric asks.
Well, of course, but you’ve got to admit that it’s something. I’m not even sure I’m registered to vote.
Just work on it. He needs your support. Do what you can, okay? I want this country to change, and you’re going to want to be able to tell your grandchildren that you did something.
Everytime he tells me to do it though it makes me want to do it less because the pressure he’s putting on me to do it, which is something that i am trying this year to take no more of.