softening hard experience

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I am waiting for a bus, trying to get home before I freeze to death

So I am in town, clearing the final details before I finally move here, and the city is locked in ice and snow. It has been gruelling so far, with lots of work, lots of socialising with friends old and new, unexpected drinking, and pained long-distance phone-calls from dripping phone booths. I seem to have found an apartment through friends, at least for the first month, which is a relief.

After an impromptu evening – over which I cast something of a pall – with new friends in the East Village, I head back towards Brooklyn and bed. The L turfs me up at Bedford Avenue, from where it is just too cold to walk back to Greenpoint, so I huddle in a doorway to wait for the 61 bus. Another man is waiting a few feet away, and after a few minutes, he walks into the middle of the empty street, cranes his neck, and pronounces to the freezing wind:


He turns to me and says, “It’s fuckin’ ridiculous, you wait 30 minutes and then three show up all at the same time… It’s fucked. Pleased to meet you anyhow. My name’s ******* *******, I’m Basque.”  Let’s call him Euskal Etxea…

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