Our needs rage on like a neglected fire. My needs, your needs, the cashier's needs, the teacher's needs, our parents' needs, the kids' needs. On and on, our hungry need. Today on the subway in the Bronx, folks called each other nasty names because somebody demanded a seat and somebody pushed somebody and somebody else looked at somebody funny and Hey! Somebody here needs to get his ass to work!
Needs. Oh to be the little dog that lives above me. As I sit here at my desk I can hear his mommy climbing the building stairs, calling, "Is that Boo Boo? Boo Boo? Is Boo Boo going to greet me?" She starts this game when she gets to the second floor; she lives on the third. All the way up the stairs she's calling Boo Boo's name and damned if I don't hear Boo Boo's claws make contact onto the hardwood floor above me. I imagine he's been having himself a skittish Boo Boo nap at the very moment he heard the distant call of Boo Boo! Boo Boo! The door is opened by a key. "Ah! It's Boo Boo! Oh my gosh, Boo Boo!" Mommy squeals. She lifts him, his tail scissors, he licks up a glorious gulp of need.
In Brooklyn there's no space on the train. Most of us want to sit, but we don't need to sit, not really. And the guy who won't move his belongings from the seat next to him knows the difference between our want and our need; he could give a rat's ass about either. This makes want elevate to the rank of need, that fire. I mean, the motherfucker hasn't even bothered to look up from his book to see if I need.