Tuesday, October 08, 2002

Sitting here at six in the morning a familiar sound erupted behind me: the hiss and gurgle of the radiator. They put the heat on.

My job is winding down in our new office in a strange part of town, at the crux of TriBeCa and SoHo, facing that striking public works building out on the Hudson. Each day I walk down Canal to get there, from Chinatown past the watercolor letterists and shops of knockoffs. The street is intimate; I get a sense of it as a distinct, self-sustaining community. A Chinese woman swept dust from out of one store and emerged to return the dustpan and broom to a store a few doors down. Businesses sit on top of each other and you don't know what's what or who you're supposed to buy anything from but someone will step up to sell. Shops with "electronics" and "audio" in their names sell nothing but fake shoes and handbags.

I hardly do any work. I show up and greet the few remaining people and we hang around and talk and we go out for long lunches and when Steve isn't there we play the guitar, we sing, we erupt in mad fits of cursing. It occurs to me what a weird and wonderful time this is. I will likely never have another time that is quite like this. In spite of the gloomy circumstances and the industrial grimness of the office (Jason said yesterday, "I hate coming into the office") I know that I will look back on this fondly. I'm in the middle of it and I know all too soon it will be over and I'm just trying to grasp it a little.

Listening to old tapes of my song ideas I feel like Beckett's Krapp listening to the tape of his diary. Disconcerting and absurd. At one point on a tape from '98 I heard Aimee's chimey voice in the background and I was plunged back into that cozy world I'd lost, or given up.