Friday, September 30, 2005

I went out with Shelah for a rushed meal at that dangerously precious Flatiron foodie joint, Craftbar. Fennel pollen and sweetbreads in vanilla. We had the foie gras and the scallops and the sturgeon and would you believe it was very, very good. We went to the new Bill Murray which is also the new Jim Jarmusch. Murray is now so deeply entrenched in his aloof and recondite persona that he acts – and here I mean acts the way a protein catalyst acts upon the body, not the way a player acts upon the stage – as a black hole upon all surrounding narrative, feeling, context.
Desire - impossible to sate – is nothing but funny, reverse hunger.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

They met by the folds of the mighty, dusty curtain that sectioned off the eighth floor ballroom of the Marriott hotel for the imminent annual convention of a minor association of pension-fund administrators and recordkeepers. Neither of which were they.

He was looking for an elevator. She was looking for a bar.

They went to a place called Albert's where she drank thirteen greyhounds with a straw.

I picked up the pieces of whatever dream I was dreaming and got out of bed.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

The girl with her back to the wall, to the what do you call it. Token booth. Back to the side of the token booth. The cop, crowding her, his legs spread a little , his feet splayed as though to brace her. He had out a pad. A ticket pad. She was a little turnstile jumper and her eyes were filled with tears. She looked off to the side, through invisible bars his body conjured to the two-way stream of bodies moving freely. He pointed the ass end of his pencil to her chest in order to reprove her and she slowly turned her head back 'round again.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

I dutifully read the Hertzberg in the New Yorker, as though I were submitting to a Revival litany: The invasion and occupation of Iraq have diverted essential resources from the fight against Al Qaeda, amen; allowed the Taliban to regroup in Afghanistan, that's right; fostered neglect of the Iran nuclear threat. Help me somebody. The editorial voice of the Left now, it is like a jackhammer: stubborn and tedious, but true.

I arrived at the Coffee Shop on Union Square West 15 minutes late to find my cousin Eleanor a.k.a. Winston or Winnie at the bar in rather close conversation with a corpulent Chilean named Patrizio. It occurred to me this is a big part of how she survives. She gets rich, fat, horny guys to buy her drinks.

50% Free Alberto VO5 Normal Shampoo Gentle, Balanced Cleansing for Every Day.

Monday, September 26, 2005

I passed out on the couch earlier and dreamt about the alphabet, perhaps even of organizing some abstract and shadowy things into alphabetical order. When I awoke, I had the impression in my emergent consciousness that it was remarkable even to remember the alphabet in a dream.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Came back from the Yankee game and had to rinse my palate of the cloy of that seventh-inning Lite beer with stinging, smoky whiskey. A couple of times we saw that enormous Hasid, P. and I, the same one we saw in the bleachers a couple weeks ago. That day he paraded across the walkway before the first row, directed toward his seat by a cop. Being accorded a regal deference befitting his enormous heft both corpulent and spiritual. His prayer tassel, whatever they call it, hung out his droopy pocket. Tonight P. saw him as we walked through the halls to our seats and I didn't; after the game, I saw him after the game, shuffling toward me with a vacant, whale gaze. Oddly, he wore a Mets hat. I thought I'd given him wide enough berth but he still rocked into me. His shoulder only brushed me but I had a sense of the tremendous power of inertia in his body. A sense of a thing that amplifies and reflects all the energy it encounters.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

With hardly a glance we tumbled into fall.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Mom sounded chipper and alert on the phone today. Eerily herself. As though she'd popped right back from nowhere into our world of street sounds, errands and appointments. Yet she struggled for words to describe the mundanest things. I asked her what she'd been up to, right away regretting that I'd led her into this weird corner where she'd have to account for time spent in oblivion. "Well, I, I, I... you know, I've been – well – I've been... staring at the sky." She sounded resolute, almost pleased when she reached the end of the sentence, as though she'd not only remembered what she'd been doing but that it wasn't such a waste of time, all told. I made words of sanction and endorsement. She seemed to understand that Lis and Jake were visiting soon and what that's all about. "We'll have to, you know, um... cut... you know, cut cubes of meat. And make them, make meat sandwiches," she said. "Yes, Mom. We'll do that. We'll do what we like."

Saturday, September 17, 2005

I flossed my teeth in a big old rush as the damn toilet continued to burp and run.

I'm stricken by that soft-numb palsy of exhaustion; it's like I'm shrouded in a heavy, gauzy veil. It's tinged with intoxication to be sure but mainly it's exhaustion. In fifteen seconds I'll be in my bed, inviting what mysteries may await me in my dreams.

Friday, September 16, 2005

I passed P. on my way from the bathroom to my bed and overheard this from the teevee: Has the universe always been here? When did it begin?

In Ireland the sky was a restless, gulping maw, letting bolts of scintillating sunshine through one moment and heaving furious ropes of rain the next.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Oh-five. Oh-5ive.

I just can't wait most days to get home and spit out my gum, take off my socks and shoes. Drink a whiskey. Sing the blues.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Scenes From the Airport and the Plane

An Italian woman with a United Colors of Benetton shirt and the weakest chin.

Glamorous, sophisticated, delectable. ABSOLUT MANDRIN blends beautifully with the lush sweetness of Cointreau along with cranberry juice and lime.

A solitary figure on the tarmac. As always.

There's highly ambient music playing on the gated plane, going AaaaahhhhHhhh.

They counted us all, on the plane, and thanked us via public address when done as though we'd had a hand in the counting.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

As she approaches death my mom likes to say she lives the life of Riley. I don't think I'd ever heard her say that before. But when I ask her how she's doing, what she did today. Does she need anything. "Boy, I'm just living the life of Riley." And sometimes she seems to forget the expression for a moment. She searches for it and is satisfied to finally find it. "I'm just, I'm just, I'm just... umm..." And here she'll let her voice trail off, the ellipsis landing on a period. "Living the life of Riley!"