Friday, July 6, 2012


Seen on the Purple Line to Linden at about 9 a.m. 

Irina writes down the list with wrinkled hands attached to freckled arms. So freckled, in fact, that it’s hard to see her original, unmarred skin color. Her cheeks are the same way, speckled with brown dots, no rosy blush in sight. When she was young, in California, Irina loved to lie out in the sun. She’d smear her thin, strong body with tanning oil, close her eyes, and fall asleep in the warm, humid hug of the summer air. The boys couldn’t stop staring.

But the sun isn’t a good friend. It burned her up, and now she’s a ruined old woman. Ruined and dying. That’s why she’s writing the list. The melanoma is all over her chest and belly, and the doctors keep telling her it doesn’t look good. Obviously it doesn’t look good. Strangers can’t stop staring.

So Irina is making this list of things to do before she dies. It’s not as long as she expected. One item is to go to the beach. She’ll probably forego the sunscreen. What’s the point? Irina would like to die at the beach, waves lapping at the soles of her feet. 

Yeah, you can tell I went to see a Chekhov play last night. Stole the name Irina. 

This weekend is ridiculously busy. Today we have couchsurfers arriving from Austria. Tomorrow I have to go out to the burbs for my cousin's wedding. Sunday I have a gogo show with The Fortunate Sons. Sleep is for the weak.

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