The Columbia Review Fall 2020

Page 6

fall 2020

NIGHT SHIFTS Bennet Bergman

At the information desk my job is to interpret the questions. “So I am at the planetarium,” someone says. “Yes.” On the sidewalk, women trying to scold their small dogs and the bus ad that reads Good Day New York which falls on my eyes like some kind of a promise. Yes, my bedroom here is nice and joyless, a view overlooking a quiet street. It gets to be kind of tiresome after a while, the emphasis on sex, everyone vaguely narcotic looking, all the new equipment for the body. For a time I admit to having been infatuated with a certain image of lostness, promiscuity, but always it was a little unconvincing on me, like a wig. Now I think, perhaps living by impossible regimen can be another way of holding oneself to an edge. I try to be very busy, very good. I’ve stopped having company and drinking during the week.