diary / by Edward Mullany


My friend, who is also a writer, had too much to drink the other night, and, in a diatribe that began as she observed the people around us, inside the bar, and that ended after she and I and her other friend, who was visiting from out of town, and who was staying with her in her apartment, and who thus could see her home, had left, and were walking along the sidewalk, on our way to an entrance to the subway, so that we could return to our separate neighborhoods, said that the problem with the world is that the old and the powerful, wanting to maintain what they have, grow stale, and in spirit are as good as dead, while the young speak too easily of revolution, as if they themselves are incorruptible, though after we’d boarded a train, and she’d fallen asleep on her friend’s shoulder, so that her friend and I, on opposite benches, had regarded each other across the aisle, and had smiled once, dumbly, before looking away, as we didn’t know each other well, and couldn’t think of anything to say, she woke for a minute, and raised her head, and said in a bleary voice, as if she could recall what she’d told us, and felt the need to amend it, if only for her satisfaction, and ours, that she was not a pessimist, and did not exclude herself from those she would admonish, but in fact believed that to love one’s neighbor, as one would love one’s self, was what one should do in any situation, political or otherwise, although she knew, she added, that this was easier said than done, that life was more complicated than a single phrase could suggest, and that she herself fell short of what she’d called for anyway.