Tuesday, January 10, 2012


Seen on the Brown Line to Kimball at about 7:10 p.m., January 4th, 2012 

Angie’s head is tilted forward, the lower half of her face completely swaddled in her thick, orange-flowered pashmina, like the world’s most fashionable freedom-fighter. Her eyebrows are crinkled together, and the folds in her forehead practically spell out the word “pensive.” The train is delayed; she shoves disdainful thoughts about the CTA to the back of her brain and shuffles the evening’s schedule in her head.

It is getting late. Maybe it would be better to eat, then do her Zumba DVD, then get to work. Angie normally likes to exercise before eating, to go easy on her stomach, but now she’s sort of hungry. Sort of. To be honest, at this point she is tempted to chuck dinner and Zumba out the window and simply lose herself in the tearing. She can’t wait to hold her special project down with one arm, ripping it straight down the middle when she jerks her other arm unmercifully backward. Angie loves the feeling of shredding it, of slicing it, of pulling apart each fiber. She revels in the power of it, the power of destruction, the power of creation.

Angie pulls the dress pattern out of her purse and spreads it on her lap. She pictures the pile of old thrift store clothes she picked up the other day, and imagines how she will make them new. 

Well, I tried to get off to a good start in 2012. Fail. Work kind of kicked my ass at the end of last week, and yesterday I had a horrible migraine and did not actually leave the house. I wrote this story on my way to go-go practice last week. Pseudo New Year's Resolution: I'm going to really get better at swing dancing this year. I've already been twice. Last night I learned to Charleston, and I sort of learned to Lindy Hop. That needs much more practice. But I'll get there. Someday. 

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