I have these moments where I think incredible things might happen in my day, that I might realize something completely true about who I am. It is utterly vivid, so much that I believe it entirely. And then I try to pin it down to something tangible and it drifts away.
Anyway, this is what I have accomplished in the last few pandemic weeks:
Overcame a mild pain killer addiction
Read a Nietzsche biography
Interviewed for a job
Started to drink again (see 1)
Began to finally lose interest in Fishdom (at Level 1375)
Went out for dinner (first time in five months)
Focused my search for my first ever published work – a letter to Marvel Team Up Comic.
I can now walk on my two new knees. There’s a long way to go, but rehab is in full swing and I’ve been able to get up the two flights of stairs to the roof.
I read John Elder Robinson’s Look Me in the Eye, an autobiography of someone living with Asperger’s Syndrome when there was such diagnosis. I knew I was some kind of misfit, but it was becoming apparent that some of the grown-ups who smiled sweetly and told me how terrible and fucked up I was were complete fuck-ups themselves.
I gained momentum on the writing front, mostly with these blogs, and plan to re-work Baller and Wave That Flag next week. Part three of The Cx Trilogy, Mina, awaits.
I reached Level 1208 of Fishdom, which means that I got through Level 1193, a level where bonus bombs, lightning and dynamite basically offer no help at all. 30+ attempts and I was finally moving on.
One thing that will haunt me from the pandemic is the sound of my therapist’s laugh on-line. It is the most awkward thing, blurting, loud and constant.
It was odd because I had hardly noticed it when we met in person. And yet it was a monstrosity over the computer, so much so that I eventually stopped showing up for my sessions. I paid her, but I just couldn’t listen to that fucking laugh any more.
A machine starts up and then stops. There is a long pause, and then it is there again, gaining power for a moment, stopping again. It continues over and over, unable to reach the critical point, like a fly dying on the window sill, buzzing to life, only to end up on its back, eventually dead. But this fly never stops. A technician checks on it. All seems in working order.
There is the air conditioner too, quietly rattling, surging, like waves coming into each other, briefly chaotic and then together, then spreading out. It is a normal sound, like the talk down the halls and laughter, wheels of a passing gurney, buckets opened, doors closed, indistinct clicks and things dropped.
And then there are the two notes of another machine, a higher note followed by another an octave below. More is to come. But it never does. There are just these two notes and then silence, the air conditioner, the dying machine, and everything else. Food service is on the way.
The notes again, higher and an octave below, but the concert never starts. The technician edges back into my room. “Lunch?” “Just not hungry. Thank you.”
The platform was crowded, people on their way home for work, a woman with her two girls, one holding a half-eaten apple, a man slouched forward over his phone, three young women talking excitedly to each other, a man walking through, all of them waiting with her, on the platform across the tracks, the local and express, some glancing up into the tunnel, others barely aware they were there, the electronic board stuck at three minutes and then flashing orange. Ashe closed her eyes. The sound was distant, moving away, echoing out of the tunnel, and then it was above, heavy over the joists, coming through the cement block ceiling and walls. The train was here. It was odd, standing there, as if in a dream, going nowhere, dark and crowded, not scared, not anything, just there. They pushed past one another, some patient, and filled the train. She pressed back against the door to the next car, the cool of metal against her hip, and the train doors closed. It was slow at first, starting, only to lose momentum, starting again, slowing, and then began to gain speed, moving alongside the local train, pulling even, looking back at the people looking at them, and them moving ahead fast, swaying back and forth, clacking over the switches and breaks, flashing past the cement pillars, yellow lights and local stations, until it was almost too fast, and then braking, the woman’s mechanized voice announcing Grand Central, clicking into the station, slowing hard, stopping and the door’s opening for the swell to go out and in. She stayed as she was and watched, the little man dash of the one empty seat, the older woman pause and stand over him, the young women, still there, rotating around their pole, still talking, the young man moving his head side to side with his music, the hand reach in to stop the doors, waiting him and then another, before moving again, deep into the tunnel.
When people tell you about their weekend in the Hamptons, remember that the truth of it is all traffic…neighbors blaring Katy Perry…the construction next door…as well as 45-minute deli lineups. And, only if they’re lucky, maybe 10 minutes of what they claim.
New York native Washington Iriving coined the name Knickerbocker in his 19th Century writing to exemplify the New York character – graceless, indomitable freethinkers – and soon enough the name dotted the city. The Knickerbocker name is ingrained, especially in the older corners, such as the Knickerbocker Post Office, an old brick building on East Broadway in Chinatown. The Google reviews on are less than positive: “Lack of Customer Service! wasted my morning!” “Very negative experience with staff” “The package was either lost or stolen in this USPSlocation.” Knickerbockers one and all.
She didn’t look that mad as she turned toward the phone booth, cell phone in hand, and then placed it on the dirty metal grill where the phone books used to be. That’s when she let it have it – one phone on the other – bringing the pay-phone receiver down like a hammer, once and again, until her cell toppled to the ground, appropriately smashed. She wasn’t done. The pay-phone receiver still swinging, useless, she picked up her cell, and walked ahead, muttering, all the way to the corner, and carefully, angrily, shoved it down between the grill of the storm sewer. “Try calling me again! You try that!” She vanished, phone-less, into the subway station.