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December 27, 2004
the slow way home... It was good to take the slow way home today, after picking up yet another bag with the remnants of my recent existence. I had forgotten the dignity camouflage, and so I looked certainly like a contemporary Dickens character, a half frozen man with a slowly tearing trash bag, wrapped in several jackets, patched summer shoes, hailing a cab. "my shift is almost over, like at five, I will not take you to Brooklyn." The driver had one functioning eye and so I did not want to challenge him and remind him that we still had an hour to go and that it really was not that bad of a trip. So I took the subway. (Look at me saving some thirty dollars.) The train was packed, at least down to Macy*s. Knowledgeable midwestern fathers explaining to their pink families how it was possible to transfer for free seemed to be the theme of the day. Then, across the east river, maybe around Borough (boro) Hall, a challenged guy entered the car, shaking his bag of potato chips and asking for "change for the n*gga!" He was one of the pretty bad sort: the spitting, shouting, in your face kind of guy; though not as well articulated as that foot stomper who likes to target wall street types and their tourist look-a-likes, one at a time, for several stops sometimes. (He tends to call them something like "Corporate American Scum" (or pigs or shit, or whatever is his flavor of the day), it seems to work when repeated over and over again, while stumping the ground, and hitting it really hard with that used up, long, wooden stick.) The guy today was younger, he just shouted: "I hate you: America" and that he wanted "Bin Laden to blow up the world" so he can watch (huh?)... this always intertwined with "change for the n*gga."... and some wild shaking of the chip bag. We did not even shake our heads. He eventually got bored and switched trains at Atlantic Avenue. (the shouter-stumper guy would usually spit at the glass... the guy today left in a quiet way.) Switch to the cold above ground... It took a pretty long time for the bus to arrive. I tried to wait on the best melted area in the snow on flatbush avenue. The bus connection is usually a good one, except that the busses arrive maybe every 30 minutes or so in the afternoon. The light was magnificent, the setting sun bathed the soon to be demolished buildings in a golden, warm mix of colors. I got to think about the different effects of the biting cold on the human body. The trash bag between my feet wanted to become friends with some of the ones discarded in front of the check cashing place. I eventually made it home, unwrapped my brown time capsule, pulled out an old scarf, which felt rather warm and soft, discovered the pair of boots which my friend Christian once bought me for $10 or so, as well as that other pair, which my father found in the street about 22 years ago and which still fit me and still work as my best walking boots. (Yes, they were free and made for walking.) I wonder why my bag contained the fungus infested version of "Holy water of Jordan." I really have not much to do with that... maybe it is somehow related to the series of slides I found in that other bag. "Mount Sinai 1969", there was one picture taken of children dancing on a burned out Soviet tank. An overnight package arrived from Tokyo, and the content was a great series of amazing little gifts from Japan and the old Communist China, paper cutouts of Chairman Mao from 1969, as well as graphic guides for Communist murals and worker battle signs. It makes sense that there must have been centralized guides for that stuff. Now I own several and they are amazing! (And that Calendar really rocks as well!) I think I am going to go to sleep now. Have been feeling weak for weeks now. Can that voodoo person please pull out the needles out of my doll now, please? The moon is a smiling, dark observer low over the skyline of the city. It is so beautifully cold outside. The ice on the steps of the entrance to my home is harmless. Such a harmless version of water... When we are born, we are 80% water. When we are ready to retire, we are 50% water... we lose two cups of water daily just by breathing... ... It is nice to stop breathing sometimes... and just to listen... the pounding of the heart... the flow of air around the house... and out of the jet engines of airplanes ready to land... I will go and take a nap now... and then I will draw... I will. I have to. This is what I am actually here for. Or so I really hope.