IF YOU REGRET IT IS NOT MY FAULT

If you regret it is not my fault

The other day I was walking through barnes and noble and a man who looked like a regular Japanese hipster browsing the literary magazine section grumbled something at me. I looked up and said “excuse me,” and then he yelled. I though he was yelling to his child who was probably over in the teen idol section or snacking on a rice krispy treat in the starbucks.
“I’m right next to you,” I said, like the asshole who I am who can’t help but say shit to people like it’s going to change them. “you don’t have to yell in my ear.”
He looked at me then, and I had that new Yorker momement when I realize I’ve interacted with a crazy person. (maybe *i* am the crazy person) and quickly went over to the art and design isle.
I picked up the issue of Juxtapoz, but I had already purchased it. A petite woman with curly hair looked at painting magazines next to me and we both looked up when we heard a yell
“IF YOU REGRET IT IS NOT MY FAULT”
“Wait,” I said to the curly haired woman. “who is he talking to?”
“If you regret it is not my fault. If you regret it is not my fault. If you regret it is not my fault.”
She did the international sign for nuts with a twirl of her finger and a roll of her eye. “I think he’s a little…”
IF YOU REGRET IT IS NOT MY FAULT
“still,” I said
IF YOU REGRET IT IS NOT MY FAULT
“it’s kind of a beautiful thing to yell.”
I looked at a copy of ploughshares and wondered if I’d ever receive another Granta from my subscription. I wondered about literary subscriptions. Who had time to read all these words? Plus the goddammed New Yorker and the Economist which come like twice a day in the morning mail and the evening and the New York times and Netflix and really did anyone read all of these things?
My friend Jon published in Ploughshares. So did Scott. Did they no longer talk to me because I lived in Red Hook? Or was it because I don’t have a job? Because I’m a loser? Or is it because I’m single? Aren’t I allowed to be single? I’m pretty happy being single; there isn’t anyone I love. It’s because I’m a drunk, isn’t it? But I’m not always a drunk, just when i am trying to keep up with the drinkers or really scared. Am I a loser and that’s why we aren’t friends anymore? was it my fault or are they having fun without me. Jon and Jesse came to my 40th birthday party. I liked that. Lucy bought me that copy of Don’t look Now when I’d never (ok, I had read Rebecca but I hated it.) read Daphne Du Maurier even though I’ve really only read a bunch of her short stories and some of her novels. Still I count Iris Murtoch and Ernest Hemingway as my favorite writers and I have not completed reading their works. Jon used to say he was a completest. I have not completed Jennifer Egan and she only has five books. I have completed Tana French. And Donna Tartt. But barely any Larry McMurtry past Lonesome Dove.
IF YOU REGRET IT IS NOT MY FAULT.
I bought the Ploughshares. This is the second time this year I’ve bought a Ploughshares off the newsstand. It must speak to me. I bet I wouldn’t read it if I subscribed like all of those Art Forums that just sit on my couch.
IF YOU REGRET IT IS NOT MY FAULT
He walked by us, on his way out, like Maverick flying by the control tower, just to make sure I knew he was talking to me, then he went past the Starbucks and down the escalator, never letting up on not his fault.

Author: anne e o

what did you expect?

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