How to Fold a Pocket Square
Sitting directly across from me in his own little PATH train seat, he's dressed in a bold pinstriped suit, which boasts, like a silver crown tattooed upon his chest, the neatest little pocket square I've ever seen. (It took me about twenty minutes to write that sentence. Maybe I devoted to it too much time.) He looks absolutely absurd. In a confident voice, so that we can all hear, he tells his companion about life and happiness, goals and work, this and that.
He tells a story about certain government workers who continue at their thankless jobs well into their seventies. They can't be forced to retire, he says. And he doesn't blame them for going on. They continue because at the end of an amount of time, they will finally be thanked by pensions. By pensions, they'll be thanked. They'll take that money, he says, and spend the rest of their days on boats.
One moment last week, while I was proofing some equipment report or column, it occurred to me that there really isn't much work to my work. My job, based mostly of reading and writing, reminds me an awful lot of what I did in school. It's been a fairly straightforward progression. It's not so bad. It's what I do.
Proofreading that equipment report or column, I thought to myself: I'm not just working. I'm living. What else would I be doing? I like my life. I like 6:03pm.
Though life, I've decided, would be nicer if I could walk to work. Or work from home. The commute is some days, today included, dreadful. I'm not as anti-social as I once was, but still: It's not so very pleasant to squeeze yourself against a dozen other bodies in a packed train, to press your palm up against a dirty ceiling for balance, to be pushed and stepped on, to journey through ten blocks of traffic while carrying a laptop and lunch. I'm not saying it's hard. I'm just saying it's unpleasant. It's certainly not as nice as sitting on your couch and pondering the pigeon problem.
I've got a million pigeons living on the roof directly above my apartment. They shit all over my fire escape, they threaten me as I come and go. They shit and flutter and shit some more. It's not so bad. It's what they do.