"Appetite is not a symptom," Simone said when I complained of being hungry. "It cannot be cured. It's a state of being, and like most, has its attendant moral consequences."
I understood why taxis were so essential to life in the city, even with those of us who couldn't afford them. Desperation.
Sometimes my sadness felt so deep it must have been inherited.
I picked up the white bread out of the sandwich, dipped it in the mayonnaise, and crumbled up bacon with my fingers. Inedible, but I probably couldn't have touched it anyway. So many times I imagined this, and now that I was living it, I couldn't fit myself into the scene. I glanced at Flower-Crown and Lumberjack as they got ready to leave. I tried to see us through her eyes. I tried to see us as a couple that always ate at these stools, us inside an Edward Hopper painting.
"No, cool is fine," he said. "Yes, it's a cool place. It was much cooler seven years ago, and it was actually cool ten years ago, before I even got to the city. You see, what those kids over there"—he pointed at the empty booth—"don't realise is that col is always past tense. The people who lived it, who set the standards they emulate, there was no cool for them. There was just the present tense: there were bills, friendships, messy fucking, fucking boredom, a million trite decisions on how to pass time. Self-awareness destroys it. You call something cool and you brand it. Then—poof—it's gone. It's just nostalgia."