mutual

The man in the truck pulls over.

“What’s up?” He asks in a thick accent. It’s local.

“We have a flat,” I say, gesturing to a bike.

“Get in,” he says.

I jump into the bed of the truck and W hands me the bikes one at a time. The man moves some fishing rods around so I won’t hurt them.

“Where are you going?” I ask him.

“Lowell. Where do you need to go?”

I tell him and we manage logistics. We tell him we’ve been down here once before to go camping. He tells us that, when the weather’s nice, he comes up every weekend to go fishing. He loves to go early, he says, because no one is around.

“I just don’t like people.”

“Neither do we,” we say.

We ride in a content silence.

stupidity

“I think people think I’m stupid. I worry about it sometimes. You know, I ask them about their opinions and reasons–things I obviously disagree with–but never say anything back. I don’t like to debate. I’m just lazy, you know? It’s selfish, I guess, but I just want to know what they think so I can think about it. I don’t care what they get out of the conversation.”

“So you’re like a vacuum for other people’s opinions?”

“I like to think of myself as a tomb.”

activist

I turn my gaze downward. I start to sing to myself.

“Hey,” she calls at me.

I ignore her. I sing louder.

“Hello,” she says again. “Hi!” She looks at me. I look to the side, trying desperately to make clear my strong desire to not interact with her. An active effort. “I just want to talk to you. You look nice.”

I don’t look nice. I look surly.

“I bet you want to help children. Do you have some time to help children?”

I pass her. Silently.

“You don’t have to be such a bitch,” she mutters under her breath once she thinks I can’t hear her anymore.

“Telling someone they’re an awful person isn’t a good way to get money from them,” I say.

hi-jack

“How do you even steal an airplane?”

“Well, you build an identical duplicate hanger right near the original one…”

“Just wait until the pilot is in the bathroom and take it then.”

“He’s not going to leave the plane to go to the bathroom.”

“No, like wedge the door closed. Trap him in it.”

“I’m not going to steal an airplane. I can’t fly.”

“Not with that attitude.”

“What would we even do with a private jet?”

“Go anywhere we want.”

reflection

The bridge connecting the Cambridge side of Mass Ave to the Boston side was named the Harvard Bridge because, rumor has it, MIT engineers looked at the plans and declined to have their name associated with it. It’s one of the most beautiful bridges across the Charles, with a simple design and slighter grade than the others.

It finally feels like spring. My jacket’s open. There’s no wind. The trees are white and pink in bloom. The city is reflected perfectly, on either side, in the still water. I see Boston above and Boston below, two identical glowing cities.

They are both mine.