[The following entries are taken directly from a journal compiled from a three day sojourn in the city of New York in the month of April of 2016.]
April 20th, 2016 – Gate L9, O’Hare, Very early AM.
Here the all are. Here I am, all alone. A fully booked plane to New York on a false mission that originally started out with a purpose but that has since fallen to folly. The speaker’s feminine voice calmly blares consecutive notifications of fines for various types of malfeasance’s. The twenty-first century is after all a police state. From the look of things this is now the ‘third world’ where so many types of ‘non-English’ are spoken. The rule being, take from those who can. Give to those who supposedly cannot. Leave your rights and privileges at the terminal’s front entrance. Unless, of course, you have your own private jet! Give me the company uniforms in favor of lanyards and perhaps a T-shirted logo. If you took all the different groups that make up humanity and throw them into the air, the result might have just as well landed here.
One begins to wonder if there are any last thoughts before one enters the tunnel to the compressed world of the air travel snake’s belly? To sit there undigested for an unspecified number of hours and try to keep one’s cool. The stewards at the gate seem drunk. Too happy to obviously animated to not be so. These are the ringleaders to our journey. As physically shaky as I feel right now, this may be my last air travel trip. “Steady mate!”, I tell myself. This is the feeling of Thanatos, the onset of imminent death. Or, it sure feels like it!
The youthfulness of the Captain reminds me of how tenuous this whole exercise is. I have a headache as it is. How I envy the sardines! At least they have their heads cut off before being packed as tightly as possible in a can. I look around me at the wives, girlfriends and companions of the others and think about many of the dreams that I have given up upon.
April 20th, 2016 – Arrivals, LaGuardia Terminal outside Manhattan.
Walking extra slow so I may get lost even slower than is possible. The humanoids come in every variety. The impressive part of course is how the multiplicity of the types of structures is so overwhelming to contemplate. The fact that any single man or group of the same could build on this scale and continue to maintain it through workable organization defies comprehension. I drink my coffee and my hands shake a little. I recall that at this same age my father’s hands also shook a little bit as well. But more of that particular kind of phenomena lies ahead. I return to the disparity of scale between human experience and the detritus of its habits. Yet there are trends that organize all who follow. For better or worse, great depths and wisdom organizes itself like a crystal. The ceaseless pigeons never rest! I guess every one of these teeming anonymous millions has a tiny burrow from within which they thread a well-worn circuitous past that is habitually familiar to them for a short while. Who can take the immensity of it all in?
April 20th, 2016 – Vero Bar, Upper East Side, Manahattan.
A bistro on 2nd Avenue of the Upper East Side of Manhattan! I am mentally alive some two levels below the current iteration of this modern Troy. So I blend in like one of the layers of peeling paint. How to awaken this living corpse that I call home and convince it that it is worth being alive? No need for fancy decisions! Too early to commit! One hundred and eighty degrees opposite of the mentality of Los Angeles, and equally undiscoverable and open to conjecture one chases the tail of success. But Fuck It!!! In this society, they constantly cut costs to the point of permanently cutting throats. The best kind of the narrative is when the customer is happy to be part of the process. A bird from the Northern territories, Ping Pong to here via London at the bar’s end, “Luv!” The place has a stand-in for the Best Supporting Actor from the “Wolf of Wall Street”. The drum machine and the sub woofer kept one from getting a heart attack. “Moe, Larry, Curly!” The Philadelphia Mummers chanting the early evening mantra to kick off the night. This overdose of life seems the tonic I feel like without disturbing the vibe and absorb it all.
April 21st, 2016 – Six Flights Up in BNB Bedroom, Upper East Side, Manhattan.
The tempest of night and thin covers! Fighting the cold in my dreams as well as in fact. Trying to capture heat under my lower half by throwing a heavy sweater over my lower half tightly curled up. I cannot recall much beyond an odd sense of eerie nature to it. Odd evening and day before? Of traipsing the Park from West to East? Engaging the young on their own turf. That lawyer named Howard who was a failed angry comic. The self-ascribed CGI aficionado named David who may have made it big? The part of me that wanted to be giving in to any inadvertent comer in the carnal sense of the same? Perhaps life is reaching down into the shell of my Nautilus?
April 21st, 2016 Afternoon, Upper East Side .
New York’s oldest library, open to the public housed in a 1916 vintage mansion.
April 21st, 2016 – Meatballs, 2nd Avenue, Upper East Side, Manhattan.
Afternoon and legs feel like rubber. The Metropolitan Museum of Art may have killed them? “You have to hand carry your pack or put it on your front!” How stupid! If for the sake of argument hat I am a terrorist then having my pack on my front is likely to cause more damage and thus be more effective! The mélange passes without succession. I’m trying to get enough steam up to walk back to Lexington and 77th to catch the train to the 59th street interchange. This terminology of streets and intersections is becoming not so arcane anymore. Not at ground level. Shot by a phalanx of sunglasses a woman stares forth joined by three more. The BNB#2 is making waves the first was great and got away with murder. The second . . . ? The walking wounded all sorts of women of color with someone else’s child. Some of them are pampered little brats. Some are just happy. Who knows why? If you got status then you have a black suburban following your ‘beamer‘. Back at the scene of the crime! No bodies just time to kill what can I think up. How to get this genie called New York back in the bottle? Interesting but it’s not me, I’m not seduced. Interested but only as a sideline. I’m not interested in being a rich man’s plaything.
April 21st, 2016 – Vero Bar, 2nd Avenue, Upper East Side, Manhattan.
I’m fed, I’m watered, I’m tired,. I’m ready to go back to my own kind of disaster. Here I am thinking about the return journey home. A glass of Sangria sits upon a shale top bar. I used to chew my nails but now my teeth are not up to it. So I seem like a mentally healthy individual for that. Maybe too many people expect Hollywood but get another dose of themselves. The base drumbeat in New York is like the trumpet in Mexico. Perhaps, a bagpipe in Scotland? The music pumps bass echo. The whole experience with someone that anchors your life is just a movie, who cares? I miss that notion that only your family cares. Bars may be for people who have been part of fighting wars. Leaving burning buildings of smoking corpses who were on the edge of life. “Drink Up Sailor!” Not guys worried about the greens they eat. Gay guys who just want to be loved. Young guys who just want to be tough. Now, I just was a little more life! The penny balance trick is easy to do if you know how. It’s about common experience! What you take it in it looks like it stays in New York. Right in the ‘shitter’, if nothing else. If life experience is fleeting what does that do for you? Who are you? Who are you? A life without view screen is a life in danger of the truth. That there isn’t any! What is the trick that works in this town? Pull out a rabbit out of anybody’s ass. At the Met many statues have the faces chipped off. That is Post-Modernism! The young live in the ruins of a former era. When you are a young adult you go through everything you’ve got! When you’re nearing the end you want to save up something to keep you going. How about a young man disenchanted in ancient times that goes on a personal search for himself in a world of Gods and tyrants. New York is like the Roman Empire. Everyone lines up at the back door unless they’re a God, or works for one. I always feel I’m at the end of something. But maybe I’m focusing in the wrong direction? Maybe forward, promising a better view? Everything with you is a countdown to the gallows! But there is a point when you run out of tricks!
April 22st, 2016 – Early AM, La Guardia Airport, Queens.
Now the gauntlet of return starts. Three and a half hours to wait. So now I find that I fucked up and the flight times are PM and not AM. So I have another day in Manhattan, What an Ass! This is exactly when I thought I saw one thing and ends up with another. So back on the M60 to the Q to 57th and 23rd and a stiff march down 5th South . Then over to 6th. «Mars sur Légionnaires! «
April 22st, 2016 – Flat Iron, Madison Park.
It’s ‘The Village’, not the one from the show, “The Prisoner”. But actually bigger! You don’t even get a number. A ‘belle’ pony pads past a load of malarkey by some poor fool.
April 22st, 2016 – Street Café 6th & West Eleventh Street
The well to do parents have all made the processional to the PS in droves. ‘Petite enfant‘ in hand or hands. Now the return in the other direction obviously too much time on hand. Who can tell if the joviality came before the children’s birth or the opposite. I can already tell that I will have another mental imprint of different parts of this town for a long time to come. The conversation from the typical fags & ingénues is the typical type of banal which if you like that sort of thing is OK.
April 22st, 2016 – Café Reggio, Greenwich Village, Lower Manhattan.
Chamomile, or peppermint? Furniture from the ‘Belle Époque” cast iron with heavily varnished wood. Sculpture pieces lifted from the Vanderbilt mansion. Dark classically accompanied soft pensive décor. Over-varnishing paintings from the Pre-Raphaelites. This is the kind of place that a hundred years or so before I would have met the love of my life. I wonder if in the worst of times, Mozart lamented genius? The magic seems to be upon me. What I see positive about it appears to change before my eyes. Has Bill Hulsizer infected me with his disease of knowing too much and expressing it badly? In so many respects I feel a prisoner of New York. It won’t let me leave! Destined to walk it’s avenues like a weary ghost. The placard declares Café Reggio, the oldest café in Greenwich Village. This sad pensive music backing a young boy’s gluttony recalls that my father fed me with everything that I desired while I starved him of love. The daggers of my memory are never far away. “Im langue Francaise”, to the American ear one might think it like choking. My corner appears to be one of Velcro as I attract more and more Citoyen Francaise. Stacks of garbage just sat upon the sidewalk. I have become an unreliable witness. A hermit enclosed by humanity. There is no love more important than one that has been betrayed!
April 22st, 2016 – Starbucks, Tribeca, Lower Manhattan.
Did the Jews invent crime? Or do they just make money off it! My marathon walk includes Satan’s needle. A demonstration of just how exhausted I can become, or not. Collapse is no longer an option. Walk or die! Seven hours to kill or let kill me. What is there to do here? Drink coffee, eat, or buy expensive useless shit. Now I really understand the folly of my youth. My selfishness my lack of concern for what my actions would result within. The devastation of love! Some fat bourgeoisie broad tries to edge me right into the garbage in this dirty Starbucks. I bump into the pansy husband and make him say, “I’m sorry.”
April 22st, 2016 – Park Bench, Battery Park.
Went through 911 wonderland and saw Satan’s needle. The two big holes in the ground have esoteric significance. I am on the teeter-totter of this trip really demonstrating how alone I am. No one is near. I’m exhausted and would like to lay down. But that won’t happen till much later. I feel somewhat out of place.
April 22st, 2016 – Irish Bar, Gramercy Park, Manhattan.
Irish bar two blocks from the ‘N’ train need to hold up and lick my wounds. Or rather nurse my exhaustion. Am I in Hell, or is this what the world is really like? There are a lot of places in the fog of one’s memory. A place to lament what now isn’t, if you were not too particular back then. That GTO in fact up in Delavan Wisconsin that could never compare with the Firebird that your father promised you at graduation but couldn’t deliver upon. I love him even more in hindsight for the thought and the gesture. You spend your life trying to catch up on those sorts of dreams. Those ones that slipped away out of your grasp. Men worry about what they can’t build or buy. But women contemplate who, if any, will continue to hold them in their arms after this night?
The commercials on the bar’s LCD belie that corporate America expects everyone to be a happy fool. Whatever may be the most deserving word used in modern history. Replace ‘merde’ or references to suit. Mastery over matter. And, of course, the stupidity of others. When people see Hollywood reality they are in wonder instead of disgust. The finger crosses the lips. I am a king who too easily gave away their kingdom but now is overstuffed with its memory. But then make sure that the recall of such things is your own and not a sympathetic fabrication. Every successive culture in history ends up adulterating its music and throws it freely off its pins. A logo and a pair of sunglasses generally does the trick. The planned irony of it all is that I am courting disaster. A terrible retribution of my ‘mankind’ upon the two legged animal that I reside within. The matter of fact affair of a ‘Borreau d’ Boisson’. Treat your animal like shit! And here I sit, running out of obsessions. I don’t want to buy, or sell, nor stuff my face with ‘outre’ sexual experiences. How about a fishing horror film where the fisherman gets the same treatment as the fish he caught?
Misplace sympathy’s on strangers are a bitch. Then the old woman at the other end of the bar has to deal with the younger ones. Young women are toothless shades and the old one’s will cut your ‘winkie’ up. The young ones energize the old ones into thinking that they can drive over the Grand Canyon cliff holding hands. The problem is not following through with what you want but rather shaking off the concrete ridden feet before the goal of that you got hardens. Something that is disastrous to contemplate by someone who really doesn’t want anything. The corporate types always back one trick ponies finding new meaning in Anne Lennox inspired music.
April 22st, 2016 – Union Square Park, Gramercy Park, Manhattan.
Here, in Union Square Park, most benches are taken up by the regular people, not the bums. So many things different here than from the Midwest! So just who among the terminally rich are ostentatious enough to inhabit some of these glass and steel boxy towers without curtains that reveal their contents freely to the street? Boys who pose as girl toys trying to not be misplaced. Poor old pops hobbling by getting bumped about looking at all the young ones. “Look, but don’t touch pops!” Race is not so big an issue in ‘le pomme grande’. Too many competing influences drawn from all parts of the world to intervene. But money IS! Lotsa rich French juifs .
Four hours to kill. A whole day really! I feel uncomfortable in these clothes. I seem obsessed with discarding rather than hoarding. The Gramercy ‘Hell March’ continues on past me. Occasionally some middle aged young looking ‘femme‘ will sit close next to you awaiting your attentions. When they are offered they are summarily refused with a liberal measure of scorn salted in. I suppose this little drama that makes them feel more powerful? Awkward girls who would be considered otherwise homely yet now proudly display the better portion of meticulously tattooed firm breasts and underarm hair waving banner-like in retro ‘vêtements’ continue on with this endless parade.
As with anything that anyone might care to lament, I wish to soon leave this place. All those longing looks from within painted over by plastic indifference. This vacuous place of emptiness quietly screaming, “Save Me!” or “Allow me to for a moment embody my best hopes and dreams!” Young black conmen making erroneous spur of the moment decisions about who just might support their con but end up losing the sale. The parade thins out as the need for alcohol and more personal attention takes hold. Another way to numb the, “Look, look at me!”, in this daily fashion parade. The black Spandax bottom crew diffidently picking at the nostrils. “Il Fuerza del Destino!”
I feel both here, but not here! Tugged both ways simultaneously after an hour or more of ‘bird watching’ I realize how hard a man I am to please. Too many beer and bourbons! What is abundantly clear is that despite the endless variations. The motivations seem surprisingly similar.
As usual, the ride back to the airport made the ride upon the top of the carriage of an Indian Railroad express seem pleasurable by comparison. La Guardia remains a pit! A poorly designed extended set of disorganized terminals. In keeping with the current corporate influenced attitudes of the present generation, the customer can go to Hell!
April 23st, 2016 – Epilogue, Coffee Shop, Forest Park Illinois.
The smoke clears and the wreck that has become my life becomes all too evident. Cleared to my sensibilities by the fact of comparison of two existences, one in the Midwest and the other on the East Coast. Playing stranger in one and being stranger to the other. New York seems not quite the place I left sixteen years back. Yet not a total stranger! Young, but not so self-conscious as back here. A typical tyrants place where the poor and the ambitious are encouraged to join the pecking order to serve the inexhaustible demands of the overly well to do.
Torment seems the epitome of borough travel. The many iterations of the M60 from trying to catch this elusive bird in the early morning to being stuffed like a sardine during rush hour. The whips and chains of airport travel. It seems amazing that the human animal has time to spawn given the fact of so many diversions. Most of them temporal to the point of ennui.
It was a wave spilling forth too dominant to be long withstood. When viewed by the preadolescent’s one had to wonder if the best attempt at contemporary press by the postmenopausal rated more than a nod from auntie? All the tricks of childhood when seen afar from the too far past adult recall in formidable prodigious buttocks at the Battery. One woman’s flaw is another man’s delight.
April 25th, 2016 – Maria’s Bar, Galewood, Illinois.
The view of life is different by the fact that the lens within is either a bit dirtier or maybe a little too clean? The amorous were placed where one had to keep the Gods well fed with food and fresh souls. I see life in terms of making decisions based upon limited ever diminishing options without wanting to. Not personally my worst failing? “Fourth down, one minute left, bases loaded, 0 for three, bottom of the ninth, three to one lead!” “Over”
The larger scheme of social management conference to use the popular mediums and the unconscious of the human species to direct the limits of acceptable behavior towards the most desirable paradigm favoring the larger goals of an elite manager’s vision. As well as their narrow impressions of that Utopia should be. The food is better in that other prison, New York. What did the three days teach? You gotta’ be your own man! And no one else’s! Else you can’t get to square one. No deep thoughts! They only show up during a crisis!