by Christopher Cocca

I college-toured NYU with Ramon at the end of sophomore year and he lost the button from his shorts in a urinal at Port Authority when we got off the bus. We left Milltown early and got there close to 9 and Ramon and his dad were both runners and I was in a thin stage so we had time to kill in Chelsea and then a steady pace uptown and I liked the way I looked in storefronts. At 11 we saw the arch and purple banners with sliver torches matting Washington Square and its tree-and-old-brick frame. They didn't give free t-shirts like the Jesuits at Fordham but there was this gorgeous leggy blond with a continental accent and she asked about "flats" and I knew she meant apartments because I had been to England but she wasn't British or anything like our crushes who sang in musicals and took tours of FIT. She was older or just maybe European and she knew everything she'd ever do and then we knew we didn't. Ramon went to Milltown Sate and I went to a small school and that day in the city when things were out in front is ten years gone and sometimes when I take a piss it seems like much less left.


Christopher Cocca is the author of The Insult.