‘I Woke Up to Find My Girlfriend Sitting on the Edge of the Bed’


Dear Diary:

It was Sunday morning. I woke up to find my girlfriend sitting on the edge of the bed in yoga pants and a rain jacket. She was unlacing her tennis shoes.

“I tried leaving for yoga,” she said, “but our doorknob fell off.”

“We’re stuck in here?” I asked.

“For now, I guess,” she said, tossing a sneaker toward the closet.

“Did you call the super?”

“No,” she said. “I’d rather go back to bed.”

— Danny McAlindon

Dear Diary:

I was walking through SoHo when I noticed a crowd in front of the Crosby Street Hotel. I asked a young couple who they were waiting for.

We don’t know, they said, explaining that they had seen the crowd and had decided to wait, too.

I asked how long they had been waiting.

About 30 minutes, they told me.

“You have been waiting for 30 minutes for someone you don’t know?” I asked.

“Yes,” one of them said. “It might be a celebrity.”

I walked a few feet and saw a woman standing with what appeared to be her two teenage daughters.

“Who are you waiting for?” I asked her.

“We don’t know,” the woman said. “We saw the crowd and decided to wait. It could be someone famous.”

“How long have you been waiting?” I asked.

“Maybe about 40 minutes or so,” the woman said. “Not really sure.”

At that point, the hotel’s doors opened but only for the doorman to make sure the crowd wasn’t blocking the entrance.

Walking a little farther down the block, I noticed a man sitting in a car.

“Are you waiting, too?” I asked him.

“You bet!” he said.

“But you don’t know who it is?”

“Don’t care, as it could be somebody,” he said.

“And if it’s somebody,” he added, “I don’t want to miss it.”

— Jeanne McAuliffe

Dear Diary:

I was on the Q at 8 a.m. making my daily commute from Park Slope to Times Square.

As it approached the Manhattan Bridge, the train stopped abruptly, as it always does. My friends and I call it the “East River” stop.

The train was quite packed on this particular morning, and I was crammed in against one of the doors next to a man in a red sweatsuit.

Directly in front us was another man who was wearing a suit and trying to nibble on a croissant, read and sip his hot coffee all at the same time. As he went in for a precarious second sip, the man next to me spoke up.

“You’re trying to do too many things, bro, too many things,” he shouted. “I swear to God if you get coffee on these shoes, man …”

The man in the suit stopped immediately and looked over with a shocked expression on his face.

I couldn’t help laughing because the guy in the sweatsuit had just said what we were all thinking.

No coffee was spilled.

— Amanda Cordisco

Dear Diary:

I woke up late on a Saturday morning after an 18-hour workday on Friday. I was sore and groggy. My two cats usually wake me up at exactly 6 a.m. for breakfast, but on this morning they had mercifully let me sleep in.

As I was making coffee in the kitchen, I looked down and noticed red paw prints all across the white tile floor.

Alarmed, I ran back to the bedroom to inspect the cats’ feet and bodies for wounds. They yawned and seemed annoyed by my investigation.

Back in the kitchen, I pressed my nose to the ground to see whether I could detect a smell of blood, but I could not. I thought maybe the cats had raided the pantries, but a quick examination of all the cabinets turned up no clues.

I cleaned up the mess and returned to preparing my coffee. When it was ready, I poured a cup and let my brain emerge from its fog.

As I sat there, I noticed a notification on my phone. It was a text message from my landlord: “Jelly doughnut on shelf at front — enjoy.”

It was punctuated with a smiley face emoji.

— Gordon Arkenberg

Dear Diary:

It was the early 1980s, and I was riding uptown with a friend on the Madison Avenue bus. She was trying to describe a new invention she had just seen at her office: Post-it Notes. They were sticky but didn’t really stick to things, she said.

“They can easily be removed,” she explained, “leaving no glue on the page.”

I was slightly confused.

“Well, how do they stay on if they don’t really have glue on them?” I asked.

Just then, a man who was sitting across from us got up from his seat, stuck a small square of yellow paper to the outside of my coat and sat back down.

I looked down and grabbed the piece of paper. Off it came.

Suddenly, I understood.

— Leslie Long

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Illustrations by Agnes Lee

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