I At the Oyster Bar at close
Dining is a competition between lovers and the lonely to see who can dine later. We all want the same thing, but for different reasons. A table to ourselves. The lovers always seem to win, but not tonight my friends, not tonight. I ate an entire flounder without a couple in sight. The waiter could have mentioned it was full of bones.

II Wash your legs
In the shower I wash my legs and say to the suds, “wash your legs.” A woman whose profile I came across on a dating app mentioned it as her pet peeve. We’ll never meet, but still, I don’t want to annoy her. Do you wash your legs?

III Poem
And from the sound of her heels passing through the stairwell on Saturday nights come these words that fall like hail in a bucket.

IV An acute discrepancy between desire and achievement
After a couple drinks at KGB Bar I walked over to a little French restaurant called Lucien. It was prime dining time in New York on a Friday night. Not ideal for dining alone, but Google said it would be “a little busy.” I arrived in a suit at 8:10pm, solo. It was packed. I turned around and went to Duane Read. I bought rolled oats, and shoplifted a roll of dental floss.

V A narrative was in sight
I met this gorgeous ballet dancer named Daniele. Between kisses in the west village, I fed her forkfuls of caprese salad (her idea, not mine). It got even weirder when she told me she wasn’t 33, she was 23. Still, I asked her for a second date. “I’m in Kansas visiting family,” was her response. “What?! You didn’t invite me to meet your parents?” I said, thinking I was being flirtatious and funny. “Not a good idea. My brother was shot,” she said.

VI Crawling out of old skin
A stabbing pain and stinging in the eyes at yet another motion toward something else. Then, I break into song. I dance up 5th Avenue singing “Here I am. Rock you like a hurricane (are you ready, babbbbbaaaaaaaaaaaayyyyyyy?)”

VII Coffee and bacon
How tragic it must be to think that any of this matters. I stopped recycling out of protest.

VIII Time outside of work and such things
I arrived at the opera. The ticket for the empty seat beside me in my pocket. The chair. A constant reminder that I could not find someone to fill it. I spent the next day in bed, in and out of dreams. A clip of Henry Miller standing in his toilet room streamed from YouTube on the TV over and over. I kept waking to the part where he shows the camera crew a portrait of Bobo-Roshi tacked to his wall. Henry says the ancient monk’s name translates to “master of fuck.”

IX A drama of literary anguish
An inability of decisive action, an impotence of the modern condition, a cocktail at Peachy’s, Dance Dance Revolution at Chinatown Fair, pizza at the place beside Village Vanguard (you can sneak in your own wine), then the Village Vanguard, Spike plays piano for free at Mezzrow on most Sundays, two martinis at the Met, then cubism, only cubism, Bergdorf’s for an early dinner, the Rose Reading Room for reading, a walk, Central Park, no, High Line!

X Vincent
You’re busy? Oh. Well, how about Thursday. How about Tuesday next week? Busy then too hey. Well how about never? Really?! Ok, great. Alright, see you then!