Wednesday, April 23, 2008

The backs and asses of Midtown drones like me, filing out the various turnstiles, some through the emergency exit door (alarm will sound!), and up the wide stairs of the 50th Street station, the one with the Alice mosaic. In the sunken plaza into which we all emerge, there's always someone sort of frozen in the stream. Almost like they just had second thoughts about it all. As I recall, this morning she was Japanese.

The Jamaican food truck with the flat screen TV on its side, playing Bob Marley videos incessantly. Get up, stand up. Stand up for your rights. As the working men and women stride by, heads down. And a homeless man meanders, head up, hardly on the radar.

Le Bernardin is to the left, with its gauzy window shades revealing the faintest impression of a dream realm beyond the reach of the living. Whatever happens there happens in reduced gravity, on the surface of the moon; in anechoic splendor, in the palace of Hades.

And then there is the Heartland Brewery and some industrial ventilator spewing exhaust from the kitchen at all hours - a deeply acrid odor that's tinged with tired fry fat, that's viscous, nearly tangible, but also syrup-sweet. It's disgusting enough to make you pick up your pace to your burying ground.