did I do this? make a to-do list? I did –

I am forever listing, drawing the map, do this, get that go here, arrive thus accomplished –

in my mind I stick the landing, clear the hurdles, pass marathon mile after mile, write the novel, finish the story, make the perfect drink –

“to the brim,” the bartender says as he slides the glass into my waiting hand.

I crossed from the noiseless heat of a Brooklyn street into this bar erupting with conversation. I talked to no one today, no one except airline workers and my seatmate who would not stop talking as we sat next to each other on the giant, enormous, aircraft carrier of a plane that departed four hours late (she was interested in grammar) San Francisco to Newark to Brooklyn plane to train to subway to street to AirBnB –

a writer, the host describes herself.

Bookshelves abound.

The apartment is crisp like apple pie or maybe it’s just that I arrived hungry and the apartment, due to being summer in New York, opened up like an oven wow the heat –

wow the sweetness wow I am here.

I want to be a writer right after this bourbon I ordered because I don’t know how to order anything else and now the bartender brings me pickles because I asked what a whiskey-sour pickle was (despite the self-explanatory nature of that menu item) and all he heard was an order –

I did not stop him, did not cry out, “Stop!” I let him slice the pickles at the end of the bar. He is 12 years old with a 1950s haircut slicing pickles while 1990s riot grrrl music plays in this bar.

I cannot save him.

“That’s a lot of pickle,” I say.

Here I am in New York to visit my baby nephew and write a thing or two –

and apparently eat pickles although they are not on my to-do list, unlike work and bills and exercise and love) –

and love –

and love –

and love.