Thursday, March 08, 2012


In the vast lobby of the Art Deco building where I work there’s a giant globe on the left, seated in a backlit, hemispheric cavity in the floor that’s ringed with steps whose purpose seems to be to allow the janitor, at eight o’clock each night, to sweep them with a dust mop, one after the other, as the benighted half of the world looms over his crouching form.

On the right, two security clerks sit about fifteen feet apart behind an enormous, U-shaped marble desk. One morning I walked in to hear one speaking to the other.

“James Coburn,” he said. “James Coburn was a student of Bruce Lee. OK?”