On the morning of March 4 all over the planet people were waking up without their carrots. There was no debate as to why. The best and brightest minds across the generations were disinteresed in the subject. "Ho hum," one said. "Ho hum."
In parts of the world it was a mostly sunny morning. A few clouds drifted lazily away and out of reach. "Ho hum, ho hum." Traffic was light. Most people decided to stay home -- not because they had something they wanted to do per se, but rather many didn't feel like the thousand little hassles were worth it: the soap, the shower, breakfast or not, orange juice or coffee, kiss the kids and go and forget about the gas the change the pants not pressed etc. Which way was the fastest. That morning in New York City it was particularly beautiful and clear as I stood by the steps leading down the train, paralyzed. The D to West 4th and then the A to the 1? Or the N/R and a walk in midtown to the 2? Usually I moved fast, tried to get a good read on the flow of things. But it was harder to decide that morning. I am the sort of person who can get up out of bed and walk fast into the world without knowing where I am going.
Other people are different. Caitlin stayed in bed until she was hungry. Michael made it to work, only to find himself alone on the 17th floor. He walked room to room, all locked, unlit, and wondered for a moment if it was the weekend.
It was a Tuesday when the last carrot lifted. Caitlin was supposed to go to happy hour but didn't. She noticed she was faintly wishing for her boyfriend to leave. The boyfriend woke up that morning while Caitlin slept and masturbated first thing. This was new. He wasn't sure why, and he didn't understand how come Caitlin was being so difficult when she woke nor was he phased. "Ho hum," he thought and looked out the window, where the streets were quiet and dappled with light between leaves angled up toward the sun. He was unphased.
I got on my knees and quietly wept. Work was out of the question. But what was in the question? I saw my father calling on the phone and thought about answering. Some time ago I stopped badgering him to shop around the photographs he had taken of the park over the years. Some were beautiful. Birds and pumpkins by the barn in October. The giant pine half-hidden in mist. "I do them for me, no one else," he lied, and I let it go. I knew of a shoebox somewhere with his old story drafts in it. And in the basement, dusty volumes of pressed flowers.
Caitlin looks at herself in the mirror. It is evening and the moon has its whole face exposed to us as she examines her thighs, her ass, pinches her stomach. Her boyfriend must have left sometime. I was home and digging through my room for something, "Something I can call mine," I decide. Michael had an unproductive day but there was always tomorrow. I surprise myself to find it is actually a question. Ho-hum as a cricket, or other people's dreams.