I am more prone to bad moods in the summer. Summer brings a different kind of fatigue than any other season; I get frequent headaches and wake up with the same vague irritability regardless of whether I slept naked or clothed. Summer brings a different kind of loneliness because the pressure to enjoy everything is so strong. Summer is a reminder that I inhabit a body, a body I’ve hated at times to inhabit. I’ve never yelled at a man who makes lewd comments on the street, but lately I feel the urge and swallow my words with anger. At least there is an abundance of good peaches. Does anyone actually drink the recommended amount of water per day?
This morning as I was descending the stairs to the subway I heard someone say “Ma’am” behind me. I looked and a man was breathing heavily and holding on to the rail. He reached for my shoulder and told me his heart was beating really fast, that his chest hurt. He was wearing a suit and tie and was holding a piece of paper that looked like a résumé. A police officer happened to be coming down the stairs and I told him that the man needed help. He said, “What’s going on, buddy?” and the man repeated that his heart was beating really fast, that his chest hurt. The police officer said, “Okay” and promptly ran down the stairs into the station. “Let’s sit down for a minute,” I told him, and we sat down on the stairs as people rushed around us. He folded his résumé in half and started to cry. I almost said, “Don’t think about where you need to be right now,” but I thought about how if I were him I probably would’ve hated me a little for saying that.
Coney Island, 2014