Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Bad Moon Rising

What's worse than leaving work, getting on the train, realizing you left your keys at work, getting off the train and walking back to the office to retrieve them? Doing all that, then arriving at your desk and being unable to find them, only to realize they were in your bag the entire time.

Yesterday was a strange day. Menace was in the air early as I arrived at work to discover the stench of natural gas everywhere. Apparently this was a widespread phenomenon on the west side of Manhattan, still unexplained by dismissed by the authorities as not dangerous. My favorite theory floated was that it was a leak of Mercaptan itself, the additive that gives natural gas its odor. I love the idea of a non-dangerous leak of something that is only there to signify danger. It's like the opposite of a placebo.

It was just one of those days... strange people about, abnormal behavior on all sides. My walk home featured a woozy man who appeared to be the victim of some minor assault complaining to a cop that the perpetrator had escaped and how it "wasn't nice". At the top of the subway steps stood a man who I've seen a lot in the past year. Sometimes he wears a neck brace, sometimes he doesn't. He's often talking to no one in particular, but a week ago and twelve blocks eastward, he had warned me to be careful of the traffic because people were "driving like crazy". There was also the man with the extreme palsy who's usually seated inside the station but seemed to have relocated, perhaps against his will, or perhaps enjoying the tail end of El Nino. All in all, the tone was very similar to that tracking shot in the beginning of The Terminator, where the kids are huddled around the television, a fire burning in its broken screen.


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