Friday, September 26, 2003

The Dalai Lama Was in Central Park

On Sunday night I waited for Mona in a bar on Avenue A where it was happy hour and the bartender called me hon. A drunk biker beside me tried to impress her with his wire sculptures. He laid them all out on the bar, each one some evocation of fantasy formed from a single strand of copper: a pterodactyl-looking thing with green bauble eyes, a dragon with a sword, a half beast-half flying machine with batty wings.

A college boy sat on the other side and expressed the sort of forced admiration you only hear among unacquainted men in bars.

"Those things are really cool, man. You made those?"


"Wow. How long does it like take you to make one?"

"This one took me eight hours. Check this out." He held one, a sort of kangaroo monstrosity, and tugged at its rabbitlike foot. "It's ful-ly reticulated, man. That means it has a leg that ac-tually works." He pulled and pushed the leg some more and left it a little askew and when he set the thing back on the bar it pitched backwards on its tail, the bent foot sticking uselessly in the air.

Mona was driving in from Brooklyn and she was stuck in murderous traffic uptown. I called her for periodic updates.

"I'm on Lexington and 69th Street!" she'd say, then "I'm on Third Avenue and the light just turned red and then it turned green and I couldn't move and then it turned red again."

"When that happens that sucks."

"What the hell's going on today anyway?"

"The Dalai Lama was in Central Park."

Later she called to say she ditched the car and was proceeding down Third Avenue by foot. Could we meet halfway?

I finished my whiskey and left my tip and split.