I jump out of the car at 136th Street. "Where are we going?" I ask. "Not far," comes the reply. I need to get to Brooklyn and I am stuck on the Upper West Side.
I abandon the car that is not heading in the direction I need to go. I have 24 minutes until my meeting and am currently 69 minutes away, by subway as well as by bus, per the fastest route possible found by Google Maps. I hail a green cab, which should take me some 35 minutes to cross town into Brooklyn.
We get caught in traffic on the bridge. It feels like we are sitting in the direct glare of the sun on the bridge for at least 20 minutes. The true time spent sitting still is closer to 16. I send a message to the meeting that I will be 15 minutes late. I am guessing. I get no response and the traffic does not move. I am sweating in the car, flooded with sunlight and it is mid-January in New York. What happened to the winter? What happened to the seasons?
What happened to change?
January is supposed to be named for Janus in which two faces represent passageways, a doorway, an in and an out: coming and going.
Something new replaces something old.
To cover-up is just a band-aid in the color of one's flesh.
An outline is visible but it is rude to point out what one has attempted to hide.
In cartoons of the 1990s it is easy to foreshadow what will happen in the frame because the shape of the images to be moved is usually a different weight, a slightly different color.
I come into Manhattan to go into Brooklyn.
I am replacing myself with my self.
I am first to arrive at the meeting and take the vintage percolator out of the box I have been carrying. I find a spot for it in the kitchen and take a photograph to send to everyone else. Voilà - we can now enjoy coffee twelve cups at a time, I write. It looks perfect with its stainless steel curves amidst the backdrop of the diner.
When both the producer and the director arrive, I do not offer them coffee.
I do not wash the percolator, I do not try it out.
The producer says this is his first time doing "something like this."
The director is the writer is also the star.
She is enthused and loves our location.
I explain to them what a collective is.
I explain how a collective functions in this space.
I explain how their film would work if they were to use our collective space as a location.
The director envisions camera angles.
The producer runs his hand through his hair.
This is perfect.
Can I use the bathroom?
They leave after fifteen minutes and I lock up before heading back to Manhattan.
I return and unlock for my phone charger.
I return again to drop a dollar in the book garden in exchange for a copy of The Almost Island.
I look at the percolator and think it is perfect before leaving again.
Thank you for this gift, a member writes. Four exclamation points. I got the same percolator.
Another replies, heart eyed emojis.