That Famous Bump-and-Go Action

Dr. Klein stepped out of the train at Penn Station, in the middle of Manhattan on an afternoon when 30 million people were going places, seated, or talking nearby. He hurried toward the subway uptown.

"Oh! Watch where you're going you asshole--"

"I'm sorry I--"

"You spilled coffee all over me."

Raina had coffee spreading warmly across her white shirt. In her hand was a coffee cup. She held her elbows up and arms out to the side.

"You're going to pay for this."

"Look," Dr. Klein said. He had stopped. "Look, I can pay whatever, but I'm in a hurry. Take my card and send me the cleaning bill."

"No, you're going to pay me right now. This was a brand new shirt. Brand new."

"You have to trust me. Take it." He thrust the card into Raina's hand and walked off towards the platform.


Raina went into the magazine shop.

"Can I get some napkins?"

"They over there."

She took a handful and blotted herself uselessly.


Raina's Dream

George and I are floating in a big empty room. "Don't be afraid," he keeps saying. But I don't feel afraid, so I get mad at him but when I try to talk nothing comes out. Like I lost my voice. He looks at me and his eyes get a little bigger. It's weird. "Raina, my grandmother died." I'm sad now, and I forget where we are and float over to him to try and hold him, but the closer I get it's like the wind from my movement pushes him away. "It's okay George," I'm saying, but his body is shrinking and his eyes keep getting bigger. Suddenly he's a little boy, with great big eyes, and he's running around in a circle. We are in my parents' house. He's running around and saying, No NO No NO NO NO and I'm trying to hush him. My mother walks in and she's got a apron on with a lobster on it. She's bleeding from her crotch. I ask her what's wrong, but she can't hear me. The lobster becomes real and scuttles across the floor towards George, and I see him pick it up and put it in his mouth. I can't say anything. Then I wake up.


"I think that was George," Lauren says and looks back.

"You know who I see?" I say.


I point across the street. Dr. Klein is walking away from the uptown stop.

"Your boss."

"No way."


"It's been like two days."

"Let's follow him."


Lauren stops and look at me. She says it again.

"Let's follow him."

"You're kidding."

"He looks hurt, doesn't he?"

"I didn't notice. So what if he is? And what if he sees us?""

"We wave and say, Hey, we didn't see you there."

"No. It's not professional. I'm not going to follow him."

"Fine, then don't. But I'm going to."

She takes off in the direction Dr. Klein was headed. I look back, and then down the street where I can see him about to turn the block and head north.




No comments: