Raw Thought

by Aaron Swartz

Scenes 2

After a long delay, we’re finally allowed to board the plane. As we wait in line, the businessman in front of me takes out his phone and makes a call. “Hi, honey,” he says, apparently leaving a message. “We’re only boarding the plane just now, so I’ll probably be about an hour late. See you then.” He hangs up the phone and then dials again. “Hi, honey,” he says, in a similar voice. “We’re only boarding the plane just now, so I’ll probably be an hour and forty minutes late. See you then.”

A man paces his apartment in a robe. He lives on the penthouse suite of a modern residential building in an industrial section of Manhattan. He has the whole top floor; the elevator opens right into his apartment. I don’t think he’s left the place in days; for food, he orders delivery and pays at the elevator door. “Can you get me some pot?” he asks. He’s desperate for it. I give him a piece of paper with the number for a coke delivery service — “anytime, anywhere”. “Do you think they do weed too?” he asks. A copy of Infinite Jest lies unopened by his bed.

There’s a cafe across the street that has the world’s most perfect corn muffins. But they only seem to stock just one each day. Every day, I carefully watch the clock: if I go there too early, I’m not particularly hungry; if I go there too late, I find them out of corn muffins and leave empty-handed. Finding the right minute is a constant struggle.

Today I show up and, as usual, there’s just one left. One clerk is getting it for me (I don’t even have to ask anymore; the clerks all know I always get just the corn muffin) while another is taking the order of the woman next to me. “I’ll have the—oh, he got the last one,” she says. She turns to me. “You got the best muffin!” She walks away empty-handed.

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August 17, 2009


Previously: Scenes 1. Again, these are all completely true.

posted by Aaron Swartz on August 17, 2009 #

I missed your first post and was about to ask if you were experimenting with storytelling through vignettes here (related to your earlier post about writing).

I want to figure out why but I found the first scene here very easy to read and enjoyed it. The second one was harder to read and I didn’t really get it. The third one I found hard to read and so I just scanned it. If this wasn’t an experiment in telling a story through a vignette, though, these insights are probably next to pointless.. :)

posted by Peter Cooper on August 17, 2009 #

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