Sunday, April 27, 2003

J. bought a banjo.

When I call him at night I can hear him plinking at it in the background. We'll be talking about sex or Donald Rumsfeld and I'll hear a honking scrawk of open strings, the precarious frame of a familiar melody.

"I'm practicing the claw hammer," he says.

Friday, April 25, 2003

Watching TV, and trying to reconcile the disparity between the Holocaust and a Japanese cooking show. To reconcile the disparity or explode the proximity, I don't know.

There was a dignified elderly couple on the L shuttle tonight, she was wearing orange pants, and I wondered: do they still have sex? Or maybe they've deferentially ceased making such demands of each other – slipping into bed on either side instead, then poking themselves in the belly with a hardcover book. He dresses nice and I wondered, when he dresses, does she tug on his tie and tell him what a handsome man you are.

Thursday, April 24, 2003

A few days ago it was sunny and breezy and I walked up Greenwich to the lunch place on the corner and some big machine in the construction site across the street was making music. An insistent, rhythmic phrase comprised of two distinct and counterbalancing melodies: Wee-DEE-da-DUH-huh followed by an EEE-ah-uh, EE-ah-uh. Sometimes the phrases would repeat in slightly different patterns, as though shifted by some marvelous intelligence, and yet maintain their tempo, and it was such a beautiful song that I nearly grasped the wrists of the office girl sitting on the bench in front of the restaurant with her sandwich and said, "Can you hear that?"

Thursday, April 03, 2003

The paintball king just walked down the middle of the hill with his goggles up on his head. No one could believe what they saw. For a moment they all let him lope in peace, unblemished, as though in respect to the power he'd had. And then he was hit in the chest; he barely flinched, but a flurry of streaking pellets soon hit him from all sides until all had reached their satisfaction and he was splattered everywhere with streaks and blotches. He kept walking at the same deliberate pace. He never looked back and was never seen again.