People Watching On A Saturday Alone




Martin David

1. I decided to walk home because my friend’s apartment was too hot and I needed to cool down a little bit before going to bed. I’m the type of person who really could probably sleep anywhere, but I especially love climbing into bed cold and in a lot of warm, grey, fuzzy clothes. Even though I had just forced myself to be social, when I pass by all the restaurant windows and the overflowing bars and the cigarette circles, I feel a bizarre sense of competitiveness. Are these people living life better than me? Is that a normal thing to worry about?

2. No matter what time it is, everyone looks like they haven’t slept in a week when doing their laundry. It might be the lighting.

3. I am sitting on a secluded bench that I think someone recently moved to make more room for all of the other people coming to the premiere, because its location really doesn’t make any sense relative to the whole setup of this theater lobby. I want to at least attempt to look like I belong here — like, ohhh, yeah, another Netflix premiere? I am at one of these things at least four times a month. It’s for the Spike Lee show, She’s Gotta Have It, and there are a lot of beautiful people here. I know Spike Lee is somewhere here, but I do not see him from this weird bench. My biggest fear is meeting someone famous. What do you even talk about? I start staring at this woman in a huge fur coat and wonder how many fancy events do you need to attend a year before you can invest in a huge fur coat like that. Is there a set number? I am wearing a tag that says PRESS and it is LAMINATED so I’m wondering if these beautiful people think I am Very Important. I’m not, but I’m considering wearing this tag in public and seeing what happens.

The most stressful thing about the premiere is that in the first episode, Nola Darling lights a bunch of candles on the headboard of her bed before having sex, and I’m probably the only Uncool Person thinking it in this theater, but: holy shit, what if they fell on her?

4. A girl I went to middle school with is also at this bar. She looks exactly the same. My school was very small, so I know she recognizes me too. I wonder if she thinks I look exactly the same.

5. The little boy sitting across from me on the subway back to Manhattan is eating blue cotton candy and drinking blue Gatorade simultaneously. His upper lip is coated in blue sugar. As someone who grew up forbidden from eating sugar and drinking soda and who was only allowed to drink Gatorade if I was sick (and only the yellow flavor), I thought about how wound up this kid was going to be in about .2 seconds. Who I presume is the kid’s father is sitting next to him and smiling at the hot woman sitting one person over from me. I had a teacher in high school who once went on a rant about how everyone says “Aw, he’s such a good dad!” whenever you see a guy with his kids in public, but you never hear “Aw, she’s such a good mom!” when you see a mom with her kids. My friends and I now coo sarcastically “Aw, he’s such a good dad!” whenever we see some guy grocery shopping or pushing a stroller. Anyway, I feel like I could bet my salary that this guy was hoping the hot woman sitting one person over from me was thinking aw, he’s such a good dad for hanging out with his soon-to-be insane, sugar-fueled child. TC mark



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