Window Shopping For A New Crown Of Thorns

Brooklyn, New York — 1997

You walk the streets of Brooklyn, look through the windows of cafés and small restaurants, a bottle of wine in your hand, a cigarette between your fingers which is trying hard to remain lit amidst the slanting mist of the rain. As you observe the scenery, listen to the busses roar behind you, you wonder what the hell you’re doing with yourself. After all, it didn’t seem normal to be walking the streets of Brooklyn drunk and alone about eight miles from home. What are you doing here?

You left the party about an hour ago and you need some time to clear your head and sober up. You have a woman on your mind, the one you insulted at the party, and you’re mentally kicking yourself over it. That’s what happens when you get drunk. You get belligerent and have a tendency to run off at the mouth. You recall the look on her face when you remember what you said to her. At the time it felt good — a shot fired in self-defense — but the more you think about it, the more you regret it. Now you find yourself standing in the pouring rain on Bedford Avenue, looking at your pitiful reflection in a restaurant window, feeling like a total shit.

The cigarette falls from your fingers and you finish off the bottle of wine, make your way back to the loft to look for the girl. No one even noticed you left.

You see her standing alone in the corner of the living room, surrounded by skinny bearded men and bespectacled baby doll dress wearing women. Inside you feel dead. You can’t even look at her but you approach her anyway. You put your hand on her shoulder and apologize to her. Near tears, you take a step back, ready to walk way. She takes you by the hand and embraces you, forgives you, apologizes for insulting you. You’re both a little drunk. You think perhaps this is a moment between you but one of her girlfriends drags her away, sneers at you.

You decide to leave, spend the next hour walking in the rain until you’re able to flag down a cab to take you home.

You will never see her again.

You learn the next day from a friend that she didn’t even remember the incident, didn’t even remember you. Perhaps it’s just as well. You’re growing increasingly weary of the whole scene and you feel a yearning to break free, to divorce yourself from everything and just start anew. You gaze at yourself in the bathroom mirror and you don’t like what you see, what you’ve become.

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