I remember something and let’s say it is real. Two girls stood there explaining why they had to go into quarantine. It wasn’t their fault. Someone had sat with them at lunch and later tested positive. They stood far away from me. I told them to go to the nurse, and they did.
What does it feel like to be nowhere and have nothing? I think I know that. And still…and still…no, I don’t. Vainglorious, even if it might be on the back side of things. But that edge, that feeling of doom, of relentless meaninglessness, yeah, on the slide of scroll and pause, that is it seeping badly in.
Okay, here is what I have gotten all wrong until now: humans are in search of fairness. I really did always think that. It seemed so obvious. I delved into the life of MLK, the Trail of Tears, anything I could find on this quest.
And then I realized, just now, older and all, that none of this is part of any goal. To vanquish. That is it. There is just this. The victor, smiling, lying, everyone else justifying. So simple. And sad. In other words, my mother was right when I cried foul. “Life isn’t far.” Nor will it ever be.
It took me two weeks to open my editor’s email. Even then, I was only able to scan them and fixated on one line: This is the point where my growing frustrations would cause me to close the book and not pick it up again.WTF?!?
The opening remarks were positive: I really love this book. So much of the writing is fantastic—clear, evocative, and crystalline. Dee is such a great character!And then…a descent into what he really wanted to say: The tone of the novel, as I’ve mentioned, is at times difficult to discern, at times seeming like realism, other times satire, and others as purposefully surreal.
I still haven’t been able to read all of the notes. It’s like a mild form of PTSD. I mean, I understand the essential problem is the narrative bouncing back and forth between Greenland and New York. What I wanted to do was to emphasize Dee’s indecision, but the audience won’t have it because she needs her motherfucking arc/ark.
I am getting to a point where I can call my editor and talk about it. I’m almost ready. Soon.
It’s been over a year since I posted one of the “Overlooked Manhattan” series, and it’s time I got back to it with one on East 36th Street, which most New Yorkers only know as an outlet to the Midtown Tunnel.
But there is more! Not only are there secret gardens.
But there are also the Missions for Chad and Armenia.
Got to keep my eyes open in this city. Looking for more.