the city is on my side

by sophie

Is mercury in retrograde? In the past two weeks, both the coffeemaker and the car have died, smacking me with the realization of exactly how dependent I’ve been upon Things. As a result, each morning I have been walking down Edgewood Avenue to a tiny store, buying a cup of coffee and two plums for seventy-five cents, enjoying how bright the leaves become as they die. I’m also becoming re-acquainted with the public bus, my high school sweetheart. Yesterday I had a forty-five minute bus ride misadventure that took me into parts of Pittsburgh I’ve never seen. I read Gertrude Stein’s Tender Buttons & noticed that no one else on the bus was reading, although one lost kindred spirit was drinking from a paper bag bottle. He was lost in a different way than I; he didn’t know where he was coming from.

A week on varying doses of new medication has me watching time move in a different way, anticipating, thinking back, sitting still. I have been staying up until 4 a.m.,reading Felisberto Hernandez, talking to friends in California, thinking how incredible it is that six people I deeply love were born in the same month, some on the same day.

I’m coming to enjoy living in Wilkinsburg in a different way – next month it will be a year since I’ve moved here. I love the urban farm a few blocks up, the curving abandoned apartment building where I can’t help but envision a production of Kurt Weil’s Street Scene. I love this room, its clutter, the books, the monsters, the cat, the dust, the ink, the plants, the revisions floating around as if they moved of their own accord…


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