Sometimes after work I walk a few blocks out of the way to catch the bus so I can gawk like a small towner at the tall buildings. I did this yesterday, and as I was standing on a corner staring at the sky, absently rubbing my sore shoulders, someone stopped next to me.
"What are you looking at?"
"Up." I gestured vaguely, but my angle of attack was off because my hand was on my shoulder and so I really just tangled myself in my hair. Looking over, I realized that the person standing next to me was a man wearing a suit and a baseball cap that had a plush pig head on the front and a little curly tail in back.
He looked down at me, his eyes floating a little before coming to rest in the middle of my forehead. I wanted to feel for my third eye. "How are you feeling?"
This made me laugh a little. I feel like shit--I want to chew off my hands. But these are not things you tell a man with a pig on his hat. So instead I said, "Some days I feel like ruining my credit and leaving the country."
We'd been walking during this and had almost reached my bus stop. I was suddenly exhausted, snowed under by the weight of everything I wanted to say--it's always easiest to talk to a stranger. "I like your pig," I told him, trying to forestall further questions.
"Thanks. His name is Leroy." I stopped then at my bus stop, and he tipped his cap jauntily and continued down the block.