Monday, April 29, 2013

My Work Day

I awoke this morning to find that I had received two text messages during the night. One was from a number I didn't recognize, and so was the other one. I also had one email in my inbox, which was from the MTA. The subject line read "CAREFUL - WET PAINT". The body of the message was empty.

As I walked to the subway, a man admonished me for not welcoming Jesus into my heart. At least, I think that's what he was admonishing me for; he was speaking a language I neither recognized nor understood. For all I know, he could not have been admonishing me at all, it might just have been his diction. But I got a definite vibe that he was upset with me for not making Jesus feel entirely welcome on the inside of my heart.

I passed my MetroCard through the reader at a turnstile, and the rotating turnstile thing suddenly started violently spinning, and nearly bruised my leg. I thought "hmm" and said aloud "hmm" and decided to use another turnstile, which allowed me passage without incident.

There were no seats on the train. They had all been removed, and everyone was stymied, but they all gamely stood around and eyed each other even more suspiciously than usual. The conductor read his grocery list over the intercom for the duration of the trip into Manhattan. I suppose it could have been someone else's grocery list.

I arrived at work and the building was gone. In its place was a Subaru Outback with the motor running, and my boss and four of my colleagues were crammed into it, looking over paperwork and drinking coffee. I got in the trunk and laid down.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Best wishes

May you find an instantaneous connection to whatever you are looking to become connected to, no matter what connection charges may apply; may you have the opportunity to one day charge a large meal to the expense account of a powerful corporation.

I hope that you always have enough food and water. And free parking, without the obligation to alternate sides of the street, and that you will never have to suffer the anxiety of wondering if you parked more than 7 feet away from the hydrant or whatever the requirement is in order to avoid an expensive ticket. I hope nobody ever keys your car or parks you in. Or removes your distributor cap, whatever that is.

Within reason, I wish for you to experience relative comfort and satisfaction in your work, and to one day be afforded (and be able to afford) the opportunity to get out of the city and walk in a wooded area, or next to a body of water, and perhaps to enter the water and splash around, weather permitting. I wish you a vacation, after whatever amount of time is required that you put in, in order to get out for a week, or for the end of one.

I want only for you to be able to one day eat some tasty chicken, or your own personal non-meat preferential equivalent. I would love to hear that you found a pair of shoes that you really like. I would be overjoyed to learn that you finally figured out how to change the clock on your car radio to reflect daylight savings time, instead of driving around for half a year adding or subtracting 1 all the time.

All the best

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

When You Think Of Someone You Haven't Seen In Years

And Then See Them Later In The Day On The Subway

Immediately call 911, 311, and all the other numbers that can go before "11" that you can think of. Think harder, there aren't that many. Did you know if you call 111, a guy comes over to your house just to make sure you aren't like, stuck?

Today I had to interface with an electronic keypad, well it didn't seem electronic, it was a combination lock on a door handle, but the mechanism didn't seem to require electricity somehow. I'm not sure if I'm qualified to make that judgment but I would bet a dollar on it. I dismissed out of hand the involvement of any kind of hydraulics. But my point is this: I got the code to the door from the authority figure responsible for its administration and although it was a 5-digit keypad, the code was only 2 digits. Sorry to use the puns "out of hand" and "digits" while describing a keypad on a door handle, but my point is that sometimes the answer is simpler than you think. I'm not telling you what the code was/is though.

When you step off the curb, are you stepping Onto or Into the roadway? Stepping Onto the roadway has less of a metaphysical implication to it than Into. Stepping into the state of being of being in a roadway. The state of walking into traffic as opposed to being stuck in traffic. The neat turn of language that takes you out of immediate danger and places you into gridlock.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Whatever The Opposite Of Claustrophobia Is

I guess it would be Claustrophilia. The embracing of enclosed spaces, nooks and crannies, do you use this term?  I had a play tunnel as a child, fabric stretched over metal rings, and I loved to close off the ends of it and lay inside. It took me a small portion of a second just now to analyze that experience in a psychological sense before the word WOMB rose up before me, loomed in front of my eyes. 

Sometimes my leg vibrates in the place where my phone usually is in my pocket even when my phone is not in my pocket. I wonder if that's gonna be a problem in the future.

The strategy is to put off into the future what the mind cannot presently deal with; the image is of a tidal wave or tsunami or just a regular large wave, a surging rushing tower of water that threatens to overwhelm, crushing, pounding you against the rocks, but by the sheer force of your own psychic energy and the making of to-do lists and the careful checking off of items on this list, you keep this boiling mass at bay.

You push into the future what cannot be fully accepted right now. And so the future seems to be full, already, of things that you know what they are, even though you intuitively know that you cannot know what the things in the future are gonna be.

The future starts far enough ahead of you along the timeline of your life to allow yourself space and time to breathe, however shallowly. You stay in the shallow end and away from the deep, where your feet slip and the water begins to go over your head, arms moving but not swimming per se, legs searching for purchase.

The total enlightenment of panic, the total realization that everything is not going to be ok. You know it's probably false but it has that absolute absorptive quality, enormous.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Tax Time Again, Boys And Girls

and I know a lot of you are trying not to think about it, or putting it off, or putting off trying not to think about it, or trying to abstain from thought entirely. Some others of you are buckling down, hunkering down, settling in, rolling up your sleeves, licking your lips, exhaling sharply, saying things quietly or loudly to yourself like OK and Here We Go, putting on a green accountant's visor, sharpening pencils, doing the dishes, walking the dog, OK I feel like I got a little sidetracked here.

My important point that I had to get across is that some of you are stalling on doing your taxes, and some of you are just totally gettin in there and doing them right away. I don't know I think anybody who falls into any other category. This is potentially interesting (not interesting) but what I really want to talk about is what I mentioned to some people earlier tonight, and that's that it's crucial that you get your taxes done, because you don't want to have any loose ends to tie up when you eventually die.

You don't want to meet your eventual, inevitable death and have there be a lot of red tape left over. You want to be in that coffin, or urn on the mantel, or on that I-donated-my-body-to-science table, and you want to be Relaxed. All your paperwork and e-paperwork neatly filed in a cabinet or on a giant hard drive underneath the surface of Nevada (respectively); nothing for your No Children Or Immediate Heirs to worry about. At peace. Totally square with the federal government.

I know when I come to my reward, I'm gonna feel a lot better while I'm waiting in that line (heaven or hell, as depicted, traditionally both have very long lines) if I know that I took care of all my tax shit for the fiscal year 2013. The guy or gal I'm rubbing elbows with, or lacking a corporeal body I guess the elbows of my soul with, my spiritual elbows, is not gonna be so self-assured. He's gonna be shaking in his ghostly boots, quaking in them even, aching in his heart, praying that St. Peter or I guess the devil or whoever is the bookkeeper in hell doesn't have his tax returns from 2013. I hear that hell's accountant is a real hard-on, and hell's audits are, to say the least, exhaustive.

So get your taxes done, so you can die old and leave a financially solvent corpse.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Bachelors With Big TVs

There's something in the glowing night, this orange-lit city; The Big Orange. I think that's a better name, what the fuck is The Big Apple supposed to mean anyway. At night you can see it from a county away, orange lighting up what should be dark and blotting out what should be stars. If this city were on fire it would look virtually identical. You can't see smoke at night, which makes fireworks less terrifying and reminds you less of their relatives, the War Weapons. I say Kudos to the inventor of fireworks, and I try not to say Kudos to anyone, ever, because I don't know what the fuck that means either. Guy probably blew himself up anyway.

The slow wind, winding through the archways of train trestles, in through one of my windows and out through the other, the cross-ventilation I'm told of, warned about, warned of the necessity of, the wind carrying the rumbling squeal of the late trains, and the odd accordion whine of buses pulling through the lights on the corners.

Inside every apartment across the way, the newly constructed condos, is a screen, and eight feet away from it sits a bachelor, watching scenes of day and night, so for them the day never really fully ends. Sleep is done with the TV on, a necrotic creeping of fingers of light, awash in reaching images, a narcotic halo. Waking up to shuffle off at 2 or 3 or 4 to actual bed, until the rise of Real Light.

From my window, The Bachelors have all set their TVs up to my left, and they all sit to my right. I wonder if they met about this, if there was a Bachelor's Building Meeting, or if they did an Internet query on Optimal Giant TV Placement For Single Males. None of them ever look out their windows, as far as I can tell, as far as I can see. 

You get cold at night, and sometimes you sweat through your sheets. It's ok.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013


I've been working in the field a lot lately. Not literally in a field. It means outside, at remote locations. Not that they're that remote, in fact they're often in the middle of New York City. Extremely non-remote locations. Sometimes I have to pee. I know - with a few notable exceptions, this blog has been strictly G-rated up to this point, a family program, but I hope you'll bear with me.

There is a mystique surrounding the "public" bathroom in this city. A sort of secret code for entry, an underground cabal of gatekeepers at every door. There are a million signs for FOOD and DRINK, they're everywhere you look, but there are like five signs total for RESTROOM in the entire city, and the restrooms are almost never just on the street, open to the public. It illustrates a sort of fundamental denial of the workings of society, and for that matter of the human body.

On the doors of pizza places are harsh warnings against use of the restroom by anyone other than "paying customers" (excluding, I suppose, any other kind of customer). They are curtly worded. Underlining and extra exclamation points are common. And then finally, should you cross the threshold, should you purchase A Piece Of Pizza, or a Bottle Of Water, you are granted grudging access and direction to a tiny room in which to take a whizz.

Once in the room, you must stand and read further signage regarding proper behavior during your short stay. Some of it is fairly insulting, implying that you would take bizarre and disgusting actions now that you've been left alone with a toilet for five minutes. Much of it is graphic and slightly disturbing. All of it is prohibitive and poorly-written. The bottom line is: We May Have Allowed You (The Paying Customer) To Use The Restroom But We Still Don't Fully Trust You. So watch it, buddy.