I did, in fact, make the trip out to Rutherford yesterday. It is not a long journey from Penn Station but the 7-minute window of time to connect at Secaucus was almost a show-stopper. I don’t go through Secaucus enough to know where I’m going, and there were no NJT people on hand to give direction as there had been on other occasions. I might have missed the connection if that train was not a couple of minutes late.
I spotted a rarity. An abandoned ETS brand payphone. ETS was a complete fraud, a Ponzi scheme that fleeced millions from unsuspecting investors who thought they’d get rich buying up payphone routes.
On the train I overheard a couple of women, either college students or just out of college, talking about a big breakup. One of them had just been dumped by a long-time boyfriend. All she wanted was to know what she did wrong. I know that feeling but no longer let those emotions smolder the way this woman was letting them.
I had no possible entry into their conversation but I did notice one of the woman studying my movements as I recorded some video out the window of the train. I was facing away from her but saw the unmistakable focus of her attention on me through the reflection in the window.
She also did a double-take, looking away from the woman she was talking to, looking right at me as I flexed a muscle in my leg. A woman I knew last year often said I had “hot walking legs.” I never thought anything of them but her sentiment was later corroborated by another woman I knew. “I like looking at them,” she would say on a few occasions. We never had sex or even fooled around but I am reasonably certain that was on her agenda. At this moment I cannot even remember her name. I found her to be kind of creepy, but not on account of the hot legs comments.
I paid $7 for a stick of street meat at a street fair in East Rutherford. The same thing would have gone for two or three bucks anywhere else. Barely anyone wore masks at this crowded street fair event. I wandered about East Rutherford and Rutherford, encountering another Free Little Library cabinet, I think on Paterson Avenue.
I marveled at the seemingly continuous churn of vehicular traffic at what I now know is Meadow Road and Hackensack Street, where Meadow Road becomes East Erie Avenue. With no street signs visible to me I was not sure where the hell I was. But the volume of cars churning through that intersection was non-stop, earlier forcing me to find another route from Riggin Field back to the area around the NJT station.
My goal of finding payphones did not seem promising at first, but I guess East Rutherford should not have been my starting point. Crossing Route 17 felt like crossing an Interstate. I ended up wandering way the hell over to BJ’s on Dubois Street, feeling like I’d reached a dead end zone of members-only squalor.
My physical body has never been inside a BJ’s but when my identity was stolen many years ago one of the things the thieves did was open a BJ’s membership and buy up a bunch of stuff, I don’t remember what but it was thousands of dollars worth. Wow, that was 17 years ago. I’m guessing they got away with that scam lock stock and barrel.
Riggin Field looked like a beautiful public sports complex, though my approach to one of its entrances had me thinking it was a cemetery. They style of the gate reminded me of the Queens entrance to Cypress Hills Cemetery.
I got a flu shot two days ago. I was bummed that Walgreen’s did not repeat its “FLU FIGHTER” bandage they used last year.
Can’t think of anything else to say except that it is much cooler outside than it’s been. I’d been shivering a bunch after showering and, out of habit, staying unclothed for an hour or so. I like to air dry certain parts of my body.
I just looked to my right and felt like I’d never seen the wall next to my couch. It is true that I have no reason to regard it or think of its stationary existence. A piano used to be there but today’s piano is on another spot. At one point I had three pianos. Now I need only one.
Propped up against that wall which surprised me with its existence is the card table at which my family played board and card games. Lots of drama, acrimony, cheating, accusations of cheating. Good times. I wish I’d never brought that table up here.
A lover and I played Scrabble at that table. It seemed to be a deliberate task we took on to build upon the non-sexual part of our relationship. We did, in fact, have some memorable and, to use her description , “real” conversations over those Scrabble matches. I remember how she looked at me sometimes, after some of my reveals. She looked at me like a stranger, like she did not know me. She was much younger than me and had far fewer tales of woe and regret. The biggest ghost in her closet involved a few disturbing tales of her brothers making sexually suggestive comments to her when she was 12 and 13. I looked into her the way she’d looked at me after telling her I’d been raped. Then we fucked like rabbits.
I just put on a new pair of boots. I’ve been wearing a very old, very worn pair of Teva sandals. In the winter I’d continue to wear them, but with thermal socks. The cold never bothered me wearing sandals throughout the winter, though I would scare an old pair of boots for snow and sleet conditions. Those boots, something like 12 years old, sprouted holes on top, which was only an issue should I step into a slushy squall of ½ melted snow that was deeper than I expected. That happened a few times. In one instance the frozen water filled one of my shoes. I had genuine concern that hypothermia might kick in and freeze my goddam feet to a blue pulp. Fortunately I did not have to walk too far like that. Had I been far from home I guess I would have had to hire a cab.
These new boots fit perfectly. They arrived over a month ago. I think I waited long enough to finally try them on that I would not have been allowed to return them. They are Michelin brand. My pants are wrinkly. I have not worn long pants since the winter. Showing off my hot walking legs, don’t’cha know…
The Teva sandals have been a stubborn fixture in my sartorial appointments. I love them. But both of them are now riddled with huge holes that create obvious risks in my sometimes desultory travels through unkempt areas. I’ve avoided certain terrains because of these holes. When someone is washing off the sidewalk with their garden hose I cross the street or walk onto the pavement, so as not to get that little bit of water into my socks. I also avoid crackly and gravely surfaces.
Wow, it’s after 11am already. I need to face the out of doors. It is gloomy and overcast again but no rain is anticipated. I hope you are feeling beautiful, because you are.