Friday, March 28, 2003

Went on an Internet date with a sweet short-haired girl named D. who's going to school for construction site management.

In the cab on the way home we spoke about art she's done, an installation at the Limelight with cotton balls in mesh covering the stained glass ceiling. "It was about clouds trapped in the windows. Usually windows let clouds through." French news crackled on the Haitian cabbie's radio, an animated man telling of Algerian youth who were volunteering to help fight the Americans.

I let her out on my side of the cab and we kissed for about 15 seconds and I got back in and watched her walk up 3rd Ave.

Tuesday, March 25, 2003

Went on a date with a former lesbian, a lawyer who represents Martha Stewart in some of her civil litigation. We shared a bottle of red wine on the Park Avenue median. She referred to it as the "meridian." She was very charming and engaging and everything and all except: she looks exactly like my brother’s wife.

Shock and awe.

Monday, March 24, 2003

The Big Dance

In the basketball tournament, the Big Dance, every nine-to-five slave has a tenner in a pool and consequently we find ourselves identifying with these players and places and we match our momentary emotions to the haphazard, pan-state scattering of places our teams are from, Kentucky and Kansas and Texas and Eastern Tennessee, and at the very same time there are soldiers sitting in a barren room in Iraq telling their Iraqi interrogators where they come from: Texas, New Jersey, West Texas, Kansas. 

Friday, March 21, 2003

At way past eleven a silhouette in the all-night grocery store, reaching to the shelf.

Went out with C. and her ex from Hungary. He's a heavyset man with red hair in a pony tail who speaks very quietly and hesitantly and smokes Camels nearly all the time. There were times when he was trying to say something and C. would lean over to him, lean in a little, and grin, sort of taunting him or cajoling him, spit it out. I was kind of manic and generally dissatisfied. We were at the Knitting Factory to see Luna, a good band but it was kind of a mistake. They play droning, soporific indie rock. The kind of music that, on a Thursday night for Christ's sake, makes you feel like a little kid with your parents in a museum or something, rocking back and forth on your cramped feet with your jacket on.

The lead singer said he'd played with Tuli Kupferberg of the Fugs recently and Tuli said, "The war against Iraq will be very short but the war against America will be very, very long." No one really reacted to this. Should we applaud? Yes? No? Wait. The singer broke the pause by saying, "That's what he said!" and there were some relieved guffaws. 

I'd been thinking, in the rain on the way to the club, walking the footbridge over Varick, scared by the soaking-wet corrugated metal steps. I thought, this is the age of the American Empire. We've had the British Empire, the Spanish, the French, the Austro-Hungarian, the Ottoman, the Chinese, the Greek, the this, the that. Now for better or worse it's the age of the American Empire. And the trouble is, an empire is never good. It may think itself well-meaning, aligned with God, a defender of justice – was this not the British imperial view? – but it can't be. By virtue of its power and its dominion over others it is immediately corrupt.

But beautiful too. And doomed.

Saturday, March 01, 2003

Here's what I remember, for now: the stunted jut of my arm as I lay prone on the snow and deep, dark maple syrup on the table at the restaurant.