Thursday, November 29, 2007

The Treats

I paused today before an array of leftover baked treats in the office and inhaled deeply its intriguing odor. It was a morning selection, cast by mysterious hands onto the long and wide credenza across from the main door, as usual, at the conclusion of some catered meeting. Muffins, granola, honey, yogurt, bagel halves of various types and their cream cheese accompaniments: a ludicrous boat of chive-flavored on a bed of lettuce leaves, ornamented by wan tomato slices, and a bowl of individual Philadelphia brand portions which some reptilian part of me considered stealing a handful from to bring home and populate the top shelf of our refrigerator door until God knows when or what.

But I did not.

The odor: a sticky, sickly sweetness with a trace of something sour. I breathed deep, contemplating it and the place it put me, in the middle of the sixth floor of this Midtown office building, beside a gray sea of cubicles, one of which I could call my own.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

I went outside and I saw a helicopter.

Monday, November 26, 2007


I muttered fuck all the way to work and realized all I was really saying was kvuh.

Kvuh, kvuh, kvuh, kvuh, kvuh.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

There were pockets of bad traffic on the ride home and I spent the better part of such helpless, agonizing minutes fantasizing about not letting anyone into my lane. It was the type of ride, the Stones were shuffling on the iPod and I was growing amazed at what a terrible band they were. We stopped at a McDonald’s rest stop on I-95. An older, white man in a cap and bad sneakers got out of his pickup truck beside us and trudged toward the entrance. Why is everyone at a McDonald’s on I-95 always an older, white man in a cap and bad sneakers? We regained the clotted highway and I looked around for cars to hate. It was good to get back to the City.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

The strident and explosive buffoonery on the sidelines and JumboTron were occassionally interrupted for a few seconds of solemn, nearly ritualistic activity: the football game. The quarterback emerging from below center, the clack of helmet upon helmet, quarterback dropping back, dropping back; his linemen endeavoring breathlessly to block without holding, more clacks and dull thuds as some level their assignments to the turf, a wobbly screen pass and then - some linebacker meets him with his uneasy embrace; a safety comes to his assistance, and it's over.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Our seats were on the north side of the stadium and we found ourselves half blinded in hot, yellow sun. I sensed it searing my forehead as we scrutinized the field, awash in golden haze, and tried to discern the movements of the shadowy figures upon it.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

An old woman so old womanly, progressing through the entrance to the 72nd Street subway station. Her respiration discernible only by seismometer. She still knew, somehow, to place one foot against the earth and press. And then the next. She had a severe hunch, giving her head the appearance that it had somehow retreated into her chest. Thoughts of, this is a human being. This is what occurs after some time. I thought, maybe she's in the process of living forever.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

We live in a sea of serial numbers, tracking numbers, radio frequency IDs. Of things reduced to the purest abstraction. The closest we can come to effectively representing an object is via an obscure and breathless spray of digits and letters, beyond math, beyond language.

This is how we get closer to God.

You have to reason your way through the question out loud, they told the contestant before the show. You have to think out loud.
At the Halloween parade, as puppets swung over the heads of the crowd, people climbed up on the traffic light posts and entwined their arms around the fixtures for the walk/don't walk signs. To get a better purchase. To get a better view. Their faces would glow red awhile, and then bluish white. Men and women in skeleton body suits. Figures from the comics page and figures from the screen.

I came home to watch some of the "The War" on PBS. It occurred to me for the first time that the 9/11 bombers were nothing more – nothing less – than kamikaze pilots. This was nothing new. Nothing no one'd faced before, you think about it. They're vested with the curious, solemn authority of the sacrificial rite, all the more daunting as they're sprung from another civilization, another, more ancient, mode of thinking. But in the end it's just a pile of ashes and debris to sweep into a pile and a dead body, or a few, that you need not mourn.