Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Just who are you texting anyway?

When people ask me how to get upstairs, it puzzles me. If I was in a building I've never been to before, and it's a night club, and I wanted to get to the balcony, I would just start looking for something that I like to call "stairs." It's a device that helps humans get to higher or lower elevations. But no. People are lazy. People have no sense of adventure whatsoever. They immediately ask for help rather than try to figure out the problem on their own. Last night, I pointed to the door that led to the stairs, and the guy returned and asked if I indeed meant the door that said "exit." He didn't believe me. He thought passing through that door would mean he would immediately be outside the club. Had he never been out in public before? Never noticed buildings had lighted exit signs over every doorway that would help you escape a fire? And do people not notice the first thing you see when you enter the club is a set a stairs leading up? Tonight I was up at the balcony bar when someone asked the bartender where the bathrooms were. The reply was that they are in the basement. The woman then responded, "how do you get there?" It's the same problem on the surface, but the bartender pointed out to me that the woman got up to the balcony somehow, so clearly knew where the stairs were. She just didn't want to think. Oh, and I'd like to point out that there are three different sets of stairs from the basement to the balcony. It's hard to actually avoid stairs in that place.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008


K has been thinking of baby names. (She's extremely pregnant.) She asked me if I thought my life would be different if my name was different. I said it would. A minor change in one's life, at birth or any age, gets magnified over time. Set a ramp at a small angle off the ground. Take a few steps up that ramp, and you're a little bit off the level of your previous path. Walk up that ramp for a few years, and you'll be pretty far from your original ground-level course. Putting that theory into words and saying them out loud made me think about what I had learned the day before. I may have learned too much, or maybe just thought about it too much, and the next day I started walking east through the slush. I knew exactly where I was going, and I was writing this story in my head along the way. It didn't occur to me that I'd be walking past Marc and Dave's old place, and when I did, I checked to see if their names were on the ragged intercom by the door. They weren't, and I'm not really sure they ever were. I walked past the diner that made the doughnuts. It's not there any more, and I'm not sure exactly which adult store or fast food chain outlet now occupies its address, but I know I walked by it. I walked some more, rewriting the story in my head with subtle changes that would have grown into mountains or whole other lives this many years later. Bleaker Bob's is still here, and so is Music Inn. A subtle change in what I said. I couldn't quite remember which corner The Bottom Line was on. A slight change in the things I did. Who I did them with. I made sure to walk up Broadway to get there, because that's what I always used to do. I guess I did it that way to make it look less planned how I would just happen to be in the neighborhood. Maybe a small change in how obvious i was would have been enough to change the angles. I unceremoniously made it to the corner. The sun was breaking through the surrounding towers somehow, weaving and curving through, shining on the spot you'd sometimes be waiting, looking out one of those windows. Those windows I would sit and stare out once inside because I didn't have any of my own. I stood next to the phone booth I would use to call up in case you weren't looking out for me, and tried to see you standing there in that sunlight, on the phone with me, waiving down from the second floor. I didn't recognize you. I didn't recognize myself. I took a picture of that view. I'll hang it next to the one of Nikkie's leg, to add it to the things I must never forget, as something I must never let happen again. I crossed and walked past the lobby, and kept going. I almost got on the uptown 6 train out of habit, but I heard my old apartment building isn't even there any more. All these places and thoughts surrounded the you that's still here, somewhere, until now. And thinking about you will always bring back these thoughts and memories, but less so now than before. There's only so much room in my head, and you're being crowded out by the three little words I learned the other day; married, kids, Boston.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Tonight's excursions.

If you take the train over the bridge, and just stare out the window opposite your seat, it's like you're a camera moving through a model of a city. The closer buildings move by faster than the distant ones too perfectly. If you were watching it on a movie screen, you'd yell, "fake!" or murmur it to your movie date. You'd be wrong.
I talked to people who don't like each other tonight. That happens. I don't know why. If you know enough people from the same place, maybe it's inevitable. Sometimes, like tonight, I actually get it, and I secretly side with one of them. One relationship of that nature in my life is the opposite. I easily picked from the start, but one of them totally won me over after a few years. You just don't mention the other one, and hope you never have to choose or get caught cheating. I kinda wanna date one of them. That'd be hilarious.
Walked around a lot tonight. It was cool and soothing, but then the rain stopped, and the streets dried up, and it wasn't as pretty.
I gave her a high-five to say goodbye, but her hand just sorta stayed there, so i led her to the door with me. Once there, she said she wasn't going out there again. She didn't take her hand out of mine, though. After a moment, I kissed her hand, and she kinda nodded as if that was the right, and expected thing to do. We parted at the threshold, and, once outside, Eddy popped up and said, "couldn't close the deal, eh?" Not even if I tried, Eddy.

Saturday, December 13, 2008


An old friend of mine was once asked how he always managed to go out with beautiful woman. His answer was that he only asked out beautiful women. Playing music on subway platforms. Seeing performance art of questionable merit in venues of questionable legality. Shopping for stolen records on 6th ave. It's easy to offhandedly complain that the city I've lived in the last 20 years has changed, but it really has. Winter is a bad time of year to try and change your perceptions of what's around you, and to wander out there to find what's taken the place of those memory sources, because it's cold out there. It was always winter back then, but I don't remember ever being cold. Even in George's apartment in Philly, where you could see your breath in the bathroom, and we all slept cuddled up in sleeping bags on the floor, the memory of cold is just an idea more than an actual, physical feeling. I think I came home after work tonight because I thought it was too cold to go somewhere else, not because it actually was cold. The idea of cold is defeating the reality. I don't have any memories of summer in the city. It's warm here in my apartment. There are no beautiful women in here. They're with that 18 year old who just moved to the city, braving the year-round winter.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008


a- "I'm waiting for a bus that's never gonna come."
b- "You better start walkin."
a- "That's deep."
b- "You started it."