Run

Adventure, excitement, danger, what I wanted my life to be like, sometimes, not always.

I like a warm bed, a good book, a glass of wine. But sometimes I think I should run weapons to oppressed people to help their struggle against tyranny or something. I should be doing more to fulfill my dream of having an adventurous life. Instead I’m just here sitting in my room, wondering what I should eat for lunch.

I’d like some brisket, a nice juicy brisket sandwich but there’s no good Jewish deli around me. I’d have to go into Manhattan for a decent brisket, or, you know, there’s one in Cobble Hill, I think. Maybe I should eat at home, to save money. I look in my fridge. There’s just some eggs, beer, old lettuce, and condiments. Mayo, mustard, a few pickles.

I should’ve joined the military. I should’ve been the first kid on my block with a confirmed kill.

God, I need to get my shit together.  I should’ve joined the military. I should’ve been the first kid on my block with a confirmed kill. But I have my reservations about our country's over-involvement in foreign wars. Serious reservations, really.  

I should have joined some revolution, somewhere. Maybe in South America. A brisket would be really nice now, I think, as I stare at the ceiling. Mmmm, a nice brisket sandwich on rye bread. That would be delicious. The kids upstairs are bouncing a basketball on their floor again. The sound of the ball against my ceiling comes in loud, furious, antagonistic bursts. This is really unacceptable, that noise. Seriously unacceptable.

I've complained to the super, but nothing happens. Ten people live in the apartment above me. I went up there one time to tell them about a water leak, and a girl was sleeping outside the door in the hallway.

Yesterday a man shit in the stairwell, just shit all over the stairs.

Yesterday a man shit in the stairwell, just shit all over the stairs. Homeless people sometimes camp out in our stairwell. It’s hard to kick them out when it’s freezing outside, but still, I don’t like shit in the stairwell. I saw the super cleaning it up. He looked miserable, absolutely miserable. His dog went missing the other day too.

Maybe I could go find his dog for him. I don’t even know where I’d start though. I should do something really heroic. I could rescue someone who had fallen down into the subway tracks. I would jump down, grab them, and jump back up with them, just as the train is coming into the station, nearly hitting us. It’d need to be a small child probably, that’s as much as I could lift as the train was coming to kill us both. I'd get interview requests afterwards, but I'd turn them down. I don't want the attention.

I walk outside. It got dark. How did it get to be so dark so quickly? It was only light a second ago. Winter will get you every time. It will destroy your soul. 

Winter will get you every time. It will destroy your soul.

Run your pockets, this teenager says, who is walking beside me.

What? I say. I didn’t hear him the first time.

Run your pockets. What, you want to get shot?

His hands are in his pockets. I glance over but don't see the outline of a gun. It's just his hands in his pockets. He's hoping to scare me.

I turn and push him hard into the street. As he falls a car is coming and hits him. The car wasn't going that fast, but it's enough to knock him over in the street where he hits his head on the pavement.

He’s lying dazed and bleeding. He holds his head.

You almost killed me, he says, getting up. He staggers for a few steps, and hurries off.


I eat lobster mac and cheese. I could’ve killed him, I say to myself. I could’ve killed him. He almost died. I drink another beer. I can't help smiling.