Words VI: New York City Streets

New York City streets are notorious for defects and foibles. The website for the NYC Department of Transportation (DOT) has pages devoted to reporting problems, including cave-ins, hummocks, ponding, missing manhole covers and pot holes.Driving through the city, over grates and grills, around barriers and pylons, can be a disquieting experience.It’s not just the hazards, but the mottled surface, the cracks and excrescence.And how it seems to have always been here, not senescent but permanent. Sometimes it just needs to have its contiguity checked.

How many ‘Suddenlys’ are too many ‘Suddenlys’?

I’ve suddenly realized that I’ve developed an obsession with ‘suddenly’. There’s too much suddenly happening in the book: He turned too suddenly. She moved across the room suddenly.  It was suddenly dark. Suddenly, I realized. I felt that very suddenly. It’s a good word and everything – it really is – but my relationship with it has degenerated into something rather unhealthy. It’s a dependency, a crutch. And so I’ve put myself through a mini-intervention, used the dreaded search function and deleted and replaced. Now I’m suddenly down – damn it! – just down to, just down – no suddenly! – down to 21 for the book. I think that’s a good number. I mean, how many suddenlys do I really need? I suppose I could get it down to 15 or even 10, but what’s the point? It’s not like I have to go cold turkey on this. Right? (It suddenly got very quiet.)