Night falls like a grand piano.
(dude!) It was fucking awesome: yesteday, I got to direct traffic for thirty minutes on 75th and Madison, right outside the Whitney. Me—all red and shit behind my Persols. Whatever. I wielded some pent-up authority, it was cool. Except for the assholes who zipped past when my back was turned, nearly clipping my butt cheeks with their lame-ass Saturns and Intrepids. Hello? There’s a blackout; why the fuck you need to be in such a rush? What the hell--are you some kind of out of towner pussy hitting the panic button?
If I was a cop I would have shot out their tires. Luckily there were only a few of them.
The hot air from the busses sucked, too. Literally. It snuffed the air from your lungs like when you pull too hard on a cigarette.
I made a graceful exit as soon as I caught blue flashers out of the corner of my eye, preferring not to be introduced to my relief. I watched from down the block as the cops lit red flares on the intersection and started waving the cars around with exaggerated, hi-speed movements. Needless to say, my technique had been much more chill.
I was fascinated by the red flares. I stared at them, slackjawed, until they burnt images on my eyelids. There was still light when they were lit, but it was fading fast, as the relentless sour sting of the summer sun gave way to the cooling sweetness of night. Made me think of eating blackberries out in the country. NYC had a real night--without streetlights, without faces. The white glow of t-shirts and laminated menu cards gradually dimmed, like the fiery centers of the individual pieces in a pile of coal.
Port Authority was like a rock concert, hot and smelly. The super-sized presence of Times Square loomed darkly over our heads like a nightmare. The crooked clock in front of the Hilton was frozen at 4:13. People drank Bud tallboys in the middle of the street.
My phone didn’t work. There was that specific kick I get when no one I know has any idea where I am. I tried to avoid the crowds. I walked around quiet, respectful.
I hung out with some Indian intellectuals in Bryant Park, I talked politics with a pastey Brit wearing a Mickey Mantle T-shirt. Someone gave me half an egg sandwich. It was warm and soggy. I headed uptown where the bus floated like a ghost ship down avenues yawning with darkness. It would have been fresh if someone had put up some funhouse mirrors along the side of the road. Here and there were the flares again, transfixing me. We passed bodegas that flickered with
candlelight and guys in doorags waiting in a long line that stretched down the sidewalk. Some of the Spanish restaurants started cooking outside by spotlight intensity of a truck’s highbeams.
Man, I want a truck.
A truck is definitely on the list of the things I want in this world.
A second turntable is another.
(give me, Leonard Cohen afterworld)
So is a leather bra.
(I know a guy in Hungary who will make me one for, like, ten bucks.)
I want to be polite, like I was last night in the face of overwhelming politeness from others.
Everything was so peaceful last night.
I want the floating green lights to always be there when I close my eyes.
Shit, baby. This city gives me mad hope.
i'm honored, sweetheart.
i'm honored TWO TIME.