lamb sandwich and borscht.


i said i'd take the bus and meet her at american apparel in forty minutes or so. i didn't want her to have to drive all the way out to the south end, especially at five, when there'd be a ton of traffic. i took the 5:14 bus, which really came at about 5:19 or so, and then i sat at the front. i listened to my ipod and i looked out the window. a lot of shops were still open, and i saw a bunch of americans standing behind counters, and they looked like they were all ready to offer some sort of service. they were just standing there - at automobile fixing places, insurance companies, non-profits, coffee shops, fast food restaurants - and it was nighttime, the start of december, and that's all there was.

there was a woman outside a vietnamese video store, and she had a box and what looked like a bag of trash. she was walking along the sidewalk with her box and black bag, and i pitied her. i had no reason to pity her, as she was probably loved and did okay financially and had a family and all that, but stilll, i pitied her. maybe just because she was a woman with a bag and a box and she was walking on the sidewalk in a cold, dark city. at the time, there was something meaningful about it, but now that i'm writing this, i can't think of what it meant.

i met her at american apparel. the clerk said "hello, how are you?" and i said something back and then i went downstairs. she was down there, and then she said, "did you want to look around?" and i said no, and that i wanted to eat. we went to cafe zhivago, and i'd never been there before. they served russian food and it wasn't bad. i had a lamb sandwich and borscht. the server was nice, and i gave her a $2.00 tip.

we went to urban outfitters to find me a coat, but i knew i wasn't gonna find a coat i liked at urban outfitters. i wanted some flannel shirts, instead, but the ones i liked were $48, and i thought that was too much to spend on a t-shirt that i would just wear casually. "flannel seems to be coming back," i said. "yeah," she said, "i like it." i told her i had met up with a friend and he wore a black and white flannel shirt, and i thought it looked good on him. i haven't worn flannel since eighth grade, though, and i have my doubts.

and now, here i am writing about flannel shirts and feeling empty and lost and trying to feel sympathy for a stranger with a black bag and a cardboard box. i need to find something greater than myself.

at urban outfitters, i put a book back, and it knocked another book over - postsecret, how fitting - on the other side. i walked to the other side to pick it up and this woman looked at me and laughed. i don't know how i felt about that. i think i'll need a little bit of time to process my response. she didn't bother to pick it up herself, or comment, or make a joke. she just laughed. i don't know how i felt about that woman and her response to my error.

she bought some clothes and said she had been spending too much money again. we got in her car and she plugged her iphone into her radio or whatever. i didn't have much to talk about, as i usually don't, so i kept quiet. i had been sick for the last two days, so that was kind of an excuse. we didn't have much to talk about since i am a pretty open book and don't have a lot going on, and i already know most things about that which she feels comfortable sharing. that's how we operate, i suppose.

she dropped me off and hoped that i would feel better.

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