Mrs. Dalloway said she would buy the flowers herself… even after I told her not to. “Clarissa,” I said, “don’t buy the flowers, you’ll fuck it up.”
"Why? How?" She asked me.
I rolled my eyes. And I mean I ROLLED those guys. I swear to God I even made eye contact with my brain at one point. I can’t confirm that, but just know it was intense. Then I rolled them a second time because my back was turned to her the first time and I really wanted her to see. I was giving myself a foot bath in the tub and she was in the doorway behind me. When my eyes recovered from the roll they landed on her face which was expressionless. She didn’t seem to get it. To further mock her and make my point I let my tongue hang out the side of my mouth and mimed jacking off my dick. Again, she was still. This was certainly not the reaction I was hoping for. I wanted her to cry. Or go away. Hopefully both. She just stood there waiting for an answer. So I gave her one.
"You’ll buy the wrong kind of flowers, or too many, or not enough. I just don’t trust you. Let me finish washing my for-Christ’s-sake feet and then we can go into town together and both pick out the flowers. Okay?"
She stared blankly at me while I tried to assert my dominance by staring right back. At first I felt like I still wasn’t getting to her but then I realized her non-reaction was in itself very much a bold reaction. I turned away from her, muttering curses against her fat face under my breath. Things like “fuck your fat face,” and “curse your fat face to Hell,” and “face-fat fat-face piece of shit.” I can’t remember my exact words as this happened in 1978 and I was, as I mentioned in an earlier draft of this story but have since omitted, very high.
Once my feet were clean, I put on my coat and made my way to the kitchen where I expected to find Clarissa waiting for me. She wasn’t there though. She’d already gone out. She bought the flowers herself and she picked the wrong ones. The party was ruined, this country is a joke, and we’re all gonna die. All in all, it was a very good day.
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For anyone who lives here, New York City can feel like the greatest, most exciting place in the world. When it’s great, there’s truly nothing like it. But when it’s bad, it can be miserable. Sometimes in the midst of struggling just to get by, we can forget what it was, that magic, that made us fall in love with this city in the first place. Here is a short list of things that have worked for me, suggestions to help you remind yourself what made you choose NYC.
Go to Central Park. Stand in the middle of the park so that when you look up you can’t see buildings at all, just trees. Kill yourself.
Live in a museum for six months. Have furniture delivered there.
Call in sick to work (just this once). Take out enough money from an ATM to get your jaw wired shut and bring a magazine to the Upper East Side. Stand on the corner of 88th and 2nd and think about everyone who died just so you could have a computer. You will be surprised.
Be Jewish if you can. You will be surprised.
Wander around Chinatown with nowhere specific in mind. Try new things! Look for someone who catches your attention. When you find the right person (and you’ll know them when you see them) hold a knife to their throat and consider income inequality. Try to get them to consider it too. Hopefully you were born into money. Demand breast milk and watch as New Yorkers come together to get some for you. You will be surprised.
And lastly, forget shapes. I mean actively work to unlearn what shapes are. It’s impossible. Ride the R train and just fucking love it. You will be…