Though the heat’s on, I’m shivering. How am I going to shower?
On Christmas Day, I knocked on some doors and asked a few neighbors if they knew where the older gentleman lived, but the building was very quiet, and I didn’t find him. Feeling like a complete failure I packed up and went to Mom’s, which is a whole other story I couldn’t tell in public without swift retribution, but I *can* say the wild-eyed knife-waving was really hilarious. Anyway, when I finally got home, a grocery bag hung from my doorknob. The bag contained two multi-pack things of ramen noodles. Ordinarily, I would regard a random grocery bag dangling from a doorknob as an excellent prank, especially if I were doing the random shopping and dangling, but in this case, I took it as a sign that the older gentleman had finally been able to walk to a bodega and buy himself food, and that all was now well.
This simple gesture did not mitigate my feelings of failure – really, isn’t it all about me? – because if the crisis of the previous day had continued, I was still the person at fault. (I’m having trouble with verb-time here; happiness comes and goes but guilt is *forever*.) In the moment it can be difficult to determine one’s actual place in the story. I need a name tag that reads: Hi, I’m Tata, and I’ll be your Plot Device.