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Spinning

The first thing I see biking to work are the casket trucks loading up, each with the same soothing and ambiguous sunset painted onto it. That's right around the corner on Union Street. At any point in time (check your watch) Brooklyn probably has as many just-dead people as went to my college.

I watched a cat die in Chinatown. I was just about to get onto the bridge. It twisted, just-hit, in the middle of the street with at least 100 people close. No one moved. Should I cross the street, dismount, and stomp it to death with my sneakers? The importance of stomping suffering things to death was imparted to me as a child, but I've never had to do it. The cat stopped twisting before I could move. So I pedaled onto the bridge, and when I got home I tried to pet green-eyed Desdemona, who sneered at me, and tore a long gash in my hand.

One day two women were coming out of Cattyshack on 4th Avenue, standing next to me as I waited for the light to change. One said to me, with a confronting tone, “I've got my nipples pierced!” I guess in an Oxford shirt and soft-chinned on a nice new bike I look like a real typical asshole.

Later I think: so does my boyfriend. But I'm already home, key in the door, when that comes to me. Then, last week, a spraypainted black car pulled up next to me at Jay St. “Do you love sluts?” yelled a woman in the passenger seat. “Because sluts fucking rule!”

I love skinnin' em! I think later. When I get home I tell this to Mo she shakes her head; thus I have twice failed to be funny. I used to be in the black car, yelling at strangers, I think, and I try to pet the cat, but she tears off a piece of my finger and runs away as fast as she can.


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About the author: I've been running this website from 1997. For a living I write stories and essays, program computers, edit things, and help people launch online publications. (LinkedIn). I wrote a novel. I was an editor at Harper's Magazine for five years; then I was a Contributing Editor; now I am a free agent. I was also on NPR's All Things Considered for a while. I still write for The Morning News, and some other places.

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