One of the boys loses control of his skateboard, which rockets into a woman's chair.
Is what they're saying true? They don't care if it isn't. What matters is that equally ignorant people agree with them.
There's no telling when he'll arrive. Over a stretch of 40 minutes, he repeatedly claims to be 10 minutes away. Meantime, I read on a bench outside the cafe he chose. I get up, stretch my legs, look around the corner. The cafe has decent potatoes and strange chickpea fries. Our conversation, when he arrives, is propped up by friendly, distant remarks. He buys a heap of desserts. I feel at peace, knowing that I have no plans to meet with him again.
The pizza parlor is a little red cube with a window and a crowded counter at lunchtime. There's enough space for three stamp-sized tables. I wait at one while eating a slice of excellent margarita pizza, as my phone flickers with text messages about subway delays.
Two young girls on scooters, pursued by the fretful whine of their mother's voice.
A cloud of glossy rectangles spangled with lights and colors: the children's section of the bookstore.
When his voice spikes, he covers his mouth with trembling hands. He had been striving for an impression of generous ease and calm. Now he looks child-like, afraid to be punished for displaying strong emotion.