after several attempts to write something that would flow the way it should. I am giving up. I am giving up to be able to catch some of the thoughts and to push a little needle of sense through them and to align them on that attached string. And certainly at the right speed. My days are really making my brain get some extra folds here and there, and so in the evening, when on my own terms, I am barely able to write anything that could make real sense. Hmm... so I work to buy time. Then I take the time purchased and I invest it in things that others spent some of their very special time on. Then this experience makes me fall back in time on one hand, and yet thrusts me forward in time, or maybe aligns me in some other places in time. Just like that. It is a very strange thing that happens. (Or at least I hope to believe it does.) A giant box brown arrived today. The cut lines on it were drawn on it by hand. "Open here, carefully." I did. I cut very, very carefully, along the sharpie drawn lines. The box eventually opened. Inside was some overkill of packaging material, some thin special catalogues with pictures, and... a giant brown envelope. The tape attached to it had a red piece to be used as one time handle. I tore off the tape... I pulled out a red envelope, also about 25x30 inches or so, sealed inside of its own special waterproof environment. I put the envelope back. I am not even going to peek. I put the giant sturdy envelope between a dresser and a file cabinet. One of the worst places maybe. That's all I can offer for now. The giant envelope has a little hand written marking on it. Muniz #9. I had actually bought #8 originally, but I requested #9, as I think it is a really magical number. I am somehow thrilled. It feels like this is not really for me at all. I just bought something that is not for me. It is for the me who will understand what just happend here some time in the future. I also have another #9. The other #9 is much more precious. It is so precious that I dare not even to think that I took a glimpse at it. (I did.) It is a 9/39... and the magic does not stop there. And it does not begin there... the magic is so much stronger than one dare to think... yes. It is definitely beyond thinking. Way out, out of sight. Traveling through time is really amazing. It is a choice. It is a choice every split second of our being. Time travel might have a clear starting point and a clear final destination, but the variety of possibilities in-between... wow. I tried this very silly experiment again today. I got into the wrong subway car. Not the usual one. Not the one that gets me out of the station as the first guy, who then can go to the grocery store (called blueberry farm btw,) to get some very important fruit or something else. Today I just got into a random car. The doors opened at the right station, except that I was nowhere near an exit. I then slowed down even further. I walked at about half my usual speed. And it is not as easy as it sounds. It is not very hard at first. The difficulty increases with every second. It is worth a try. It can be done with anything. Try to do exactly what you are doing now. At half speed. See how long it is going to be possible to do that without going back to "normal". How many seconds did the experience last? See, that "normal" speed is not that normal at all actally. It is a daring race, it is the skipping of the "less important" stuff, it is that shortcut laden current step in one's development... Eventually our bodies slow down by themselves. Everything does. Things are slow at first and magical, then they speed up, we go as fast as we can... and then the magic catches us again... and we slow down, slower, slower, slower... and then completely new processes begin... Sometimes we happen to be still alive. Certain things have to happen at a certain speed. A cake can not be baked slower than it should be. Or when it is thrown... throwing it at half speed will miss the target for sure... among other things. Certain processes just need their time. Certain things devour time. Certain other activities give birth to time... I think good conversations give birth to time. And good art also gives birth to time... maybe giving birth is the completely wrong picture... good art is probably more like a time generator... and somebody who makes the good kind of art... is a saint... or at least a blessing to us all... I went to see How to Kick People with Todd Levin tonight. I believe. It was, so I believe, quite excellent, again... brilliant. And I will go again next month. Except maybe then I am going to go in person. Dependent on the theme of the evening, of course. So yes, I am giving up writing, coherent writing at least. I also tried to draw today and it was really very sad. I barely managed to stay on the line. And I will end this post now. And I do not recommend that anyone read it at half speed. I read it at an even slower speed while writing it (I am a slow typer,) and I do not think that this particular one is worth being read slowly... how about a previous one or one on a different site? Or maybe one in a book, written hundreds of years ago?... somewhere very far away... or not very far away at all. (because, how else would that ever work?)
September 2004 Archives
It could have been the tripple espresso con panna that turned this past night into a short moment of maybe three quiet hours? It could have been 10 minutes, of course. I am thinking of sliced bagels here. Lost in space and time. Slicing... slicing... Just remembered that dream too. It was the small finger missing on my right hand that was a bit alarming at first. Then the middle finger of my right hand was half gone. I was very at peace with the idea that my hand would soon loose all of its fingers. It wad the right hand. I am a lefty as lefty can be. And it is the fall. When I woke up, I checked if I was still all in one piece. (Then I shaved.) My dream was created in my brain because of a one handed delivery man in the street, right here in front of the office, i think. The missing hand had been removed very cleanly. The skin had a different color where the hand used to be. The stump looked somehow beautiful, it looked as if it were waiting for spring to return, so it could sprout a new hand, more beautiful than the one before, one with seven, nine, thirty nine fingers? (Though... a one handed delivery man?) Three most spectacular letters arrived here yesterday. Little glowing gems. I am not really good at replying. I have a really horrible track record when it comes to replying to letters. Any kind of letters. I have lost many friends because of that. No bad intentions. I am really bad. maybe this time?... The main post office is just a few blocks away from here. Across the street from the main post office is a commuter diner. It has some fancy sounding name, there are golden stars qwetsched into the design. The place is supposed to look realistic, to keep lone-Gailanders off the manhattan streets. "The key is to go to Jamaica, then Babylon." (The guys at the table next to me were discussing yesterday's power outage.) "So she takes oaf her shoe, and starts pounding on the window. She keaps screamin' :'the diesels should go, the diesels should go', and so he oapens the window and says: 'look lady, there are seventeen trains ahead of me, what do you wanme to do? I can't just go like that." Man-dance stories, experts at work, and play... They were just making sure they still had that friendship flame going. The one that had started with those giant golden baseball-themed rings. Though it was important that that friendship did not go too "far". "Went through that Chelsea area the other night. Disgusting." "Yeah, I know what you're talking about. Even in the sports bars there. All men." I had some truly perverse pastrami sandwich. The pickles: Tripple sour. The coke: Purest, Highest, Fructose (and or sucrose... such-rose...) Boy, I got really cute stamps. I will now start sending real letters again. Please email me the newest address. I have lost them all. I really do not have them anymore. Not quite sure what happened. It was in the middle of the desert that I pulled out my little book. And it was blank. The names were there. Gone were all locations. The most beautiful part of that other dream began when I remembered to check the walk in closet on the right. It was in the second guest room, in the quadruplex. I came across a little blue box in the left hand pocket of the green suede jacket. In the box: a key. I went to the third floor. I saw a small cabinet near the hall closet. The key turned with a click. The orange inside was most plump and perfect one of its kind... because it was a dream, I was able to eat one half of it without even opening my lips. The other half of the orange somehow ate me. because we now levitated, the expression "flights" made perfect sense. so as half an orange, I levitated down two flights, into the laundry room, towards the dryer... just to my delighted surprise, find my truly other half. How could any color ask for more? (though orange tends to win.)
It is tempting to make wonderful assumptions about the personality of others by the way they enter one's life. It often appears far more revealing how a person exits one's life however. Maybe those who's exits are good could be compared to good books or good wine. Those who enter with glory and leave with a stank are probably like bad sitcoms and cheap candy. (I am probably the cheap candy type.) I never bought a second issue of nest magazine. I think if I buy the last available now, I am going to have the most completely incomplete collection: the very first and the very final issue. The church of St. Paul the Apostle is actually a really groovy place, I think. The wedding ceremony I had the honor to observe as a guest, was actually a magnificent event. The location was fantastic. I crossed my arms to receive a blessing and not communion, even though I am a Polish Catholic... or maybe that's why? The Lotos Club is mighty groovy too. The library actually contains some great (and real) books, the third floor has this really great sound blocking leather chair... The mirrored salon was a wonderful location for a spectacular nuptial dinner. (Congratulations J+D) I felt a bit odd when I found out that my buddy Christian was going from Germany to Hawaii to surf (the web and the waves) for three full months. I just found out yesterday, over breakfast, that he is going for five full months. Great. (Check out his site. ) The moon snuck around the buildings this evening, as the days are shorter now, and he is more visible for longer. An almost full moon probably means that horses are dying somewhere, at least according to Haruki Murakami. (thank you A...) I really wish I had been at the drawing center yesterday. Would have loved to have walked through the crowds in Chinatown afterwards. It would have been lovely to spend the afternoon not far from the back of the Beacon theatre today. I will probably soon not even know where I would really rather be... The vivid dreams of spectacular architecture right across the street of the Cooper Union were the happier moments of this Sunday morning. It might be time to get some rest. Not feeling well. Sleep brings back health... and is the poor man's drug and heals all wounds... or was that time?... Sleep will tell...
He held his right fist into the air in front of him. He turned it long enough to make sure he was able to see a volume of blood, not four fingers guarded by a thumb. This was the size of his heart. He imagined it as a lump of space, floating in front of him. He removed the fist slowly. The lump of space remained. He imagined is heavy, pumping, alive, aging, slowly stepping through time, with him now, there it was, they were not traveling together. A sitting man in a barely lit room, staring at the air in front of him to others was a man sitting in a barely lit room, staring at what he just decided was a mysterious representation of so much more than a never sleeping organ in his chest. He closed his eyes, to see it a bit more clearly. A simple exercise in meditation really... He now could make it turn colors, pulsate faster and slower and rotate it, make it come closer, move a bit further. He now sliced it in half. A somehow random cut. Now again. Again. Now. cut cut cut cut and with each division more pieces were created, until his brain imagination could no longer hold them in front of him, or glowing, or pumping, or alive, or together, or apart, or at all... and so the exponential amount of pieces just burst apart, unimagined, out of focus, a soup with glibber chunks. He opened his eyes. There was still the table in front of him. On the table: his fist. A thumb guarding four fearful fingers. And he pressed the back of his thumb against the space on his forehead that indentation behind which there is no brain. This was where the two halves of his brain met. This is where the hot spot existed, approximately, perhaps, where all the information from the left had to pass the information from the right. This was ridiculous. He could not imagine his heart anymore. Not long enough in one piece to make it travel a good distance. His brain has just reduced itself into an organ working best in a space where it is not. He used all his fingers now to embrace his growing sweaty little forehead. The sockets of his closed eyes pressed firmly into the palms of his hands. It was dark at first... then flickers of color began to appear here and there. the pressure against his eyeballs felt a bit saur. his brain worked harder now to, independently of his will, create carpets of coherent shapes... all wrong. all just a buzzing noise. he lowered his own pressure a bit. he imagined a space, about the size of his fist, in front of him. motionless... there is was. about a pound of matter? grams? tons? alive? dead? certainly temporary. and there, it began to slice itself again and again and again... //////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////// 2^64?... and so he finds, completely unexpectedly, this: raga-dvesa-vimuktais tu visayan indriyais caran atma-vasyair vidheyatma prasadam adhigacchati
Did I mention how great the Machiel Botman show is, over at Gitterman Gallery? Many of the black and white photographs in the show, taken over the last twenty five years or so, feel like encapsulated, breathtaking intimacy. Some feel as if they were of very own familiar moments, as if the people in them were one's own dearest friends, the memories were of one's own family, that favorite bird, the beloved secret tree. Not sure how Botman does it. He seems to be a bit of a miracle man... The exhibition coincides with the publication of his new book... published by Markus Schaden and his publishing house. The book is called RainChild... a limited edition of the book was available at the exhibition. I just have managed to completely overspend on (beautiful) art recently... and so I just could not afford to get it too... I had however managed to track down a copy of the limited edition version of Botman's first book: HeartBeat, at a book dealer in Amsterdam. Or at least I thought I had tracked down one of the 15 existing copies of the book... it just happens that the book dealer never replied to any of my emails. Hmm... I wonder why? And so I emailed Botman, who lives in Amsterdam, directly (I know, I should have probably contacted him through the gallery?... well, we actually do have a mutual dear friend.) and asked him if he knew of the last available "HeartBeat", and if I could maybe get it through him somehow, I meant if he could maybe contact that book-dealer who did not want to call me back. (Who knows?) He replied that he himself still had the very last copy (15/15) of Heartbeat and that he could even make a special box for me if I wanted... (yes, I wanted.) I met him for the first time at the exhibition opening of his current show... I brought the payment for the book with me. He had left the book at his hotel. (and it was okay, I did not seriously expect that he would bring it to the vernisage.) This morning, while going to meet a friend in a near by cafe, I ran into Machiel Botman in the front of my home here on the upper Westside! He was hailing a cab. (And!) He happened to have the book with him... And so he gave it to me... right there in the street. New York is such a tiny little town sometimes... when things go well it is.
standing up to the neck in water, in a heavy bathing suit, the thick wool pockets filled with led-sculpted "survival tools". what was he waiting for really? he should have figured out that he was not really able to swim... probably before he went in? and his family on the distant shore, cheering for, with brightly painted boards, urging him, their only "swimmer" him to go deeper, "GO IN DEEPER!" they said. Not one of them has ever made it this far from the shore. Not a single one of them ever managed to get to that point where holding the nostrils above the salty waves becomes a real, a major, an overwhelming challenge. They pranced in the sand, they pointed proudly in his direction, they waved their stupid signs. Their striped ponchos, hand made out of colored sheep-hair. The sun would burn freckles onto their almost transparent bodies. He knew that he was in very deep. His toes hurt from barely holding on to that one turtle shell he managed to hold on to for a while now. He knew he had walked all this way here because he himself had chosen to... Nobody ever told him how to swim. He had invented ways to wave his arms in ways that looked pretty much like real swimming... Heavy, thick wool. "So the water is not cold". Heavy thick wool. "Because that's the way to do it". Heavy thick wool. By now he should have gone further perhaps? Heavy thick wool. Thicker now. Each fiber filled and filling more with salty water. When he closed his eyes, there were vast landscapes, an immersive experience. Levitating above the evaporated lakes with dried toes and fibers locked in them, he felt that this was so much closer to where things should be... But how could he possibly know?... no matter what direction he would step into now, the water would fill the space over his head... there would be no oxygen for him for a while... no matter where he decided to step now... the water was not only deeper... it was rising... rising... rising... the wool swimming suit was soaking in more and more and becoming heavier and heavier... ... that's when he threw up.
I can not help it. I find beauty in an ironing board. Well, maybe not in the board itself, but in the idea that led to its purchase. And in its purpose, its function. Twenty-hour light-bulbs are maybe not great for the environment, but God, are they sexy. Not by themselves, but definitely as the idea of light used properly for twenty hours. Concentration plus creation equals time spent truly well. Even the idea of a piece of paper can be most erotic when its fibers are important enough to be rejoined after being scratched by a frustrated cat. I can not help it, but there is beauty locked in ideas and activities and the use of objects that somehow show a certain respect for moments, for work, for time, for the little vibrations of the universe that push some of us upstream. My dream is to be close to beauty. My dream is to be embraced by it. My dream is to be closer to it than close. And I know that it is not something that just happens. There is probably no easy path there. And I am glad that it is this way. And I do not believe in shortcuts. I do not believe in instant gratification. I do not believe in: easy to use and number one and most sold and billions can't be wrong. I find ironing boards exciting, and slow drawings, and even slower paintings. And I love it when there is silver paint that does not want to behave the way it is supposed to... when it just keeps going... Let's turn off the lights and see all this much more clearly. yes?
yesterday had knocked me out. waking up was not bad, I knew there was an important presentation ahead of me, the day would be packed with other good activities as well. waking up was not bad at all, but then once i actually stood on my feet, the world began to move in very uncomfortable ways, it felt as if I were on board of a plane spiralling out of the sky, I was not even attached to my seat, my body could not quite handle the sensation. Whatever I had eaten in the days before, apparently was only rented. I imagined myself throwing up onto a boardroom table, during the presentation. Bad thought. I had to stay home. (Actually, I would have not even made it to the train.) I called my doctor who wrote me a prescription for powerful looking purple capsules (Their name a mix of titan and pagan?). He called the pharmacy across the street, and they delivered in about 20 minutes. This is New York after all. The pills were supposed to fight my nausea (and that other set of violent body reactions that often follows nausea...) But the side effects include (and I am writing this from the sheet that came with the pills) such exciting experiences as: unusual bleeding, confusion, tremors, vision changes, yellowing of eyes and skin, involuntary movement of eyes/face/limbs, spasms (on one website there was even an exact description of the spasms as the expanding type, not the contracting, for those who want to know) and... well... depression, headache, dizziness, and drowsiness... That all seemed quite lovely if I wanted to put myself into an uncomfortable place... but I was already there. And so I just looked at the pills... imagined them as my last resort... And so I slept for about 21 hours of the last 24. I would only wake up to take other multicolored pills against the fever, the pounding headache. Water was also important. Dry toast. There are still remnants of a headache drumbeat in my skull. And my stomach still feels as if it were inhabited by some slimy restless fish, trying to find a comfortable spot to rest. I hope I will be okay. I hope I will make it through the day. What should I eat today?
my favorite spot today was one in the orbit of a slowly spinning orange ball. It was one with two 76 on it. That makes 156, which adds up to 12, and I would really like to multiply now. So let's say two. Yes, two times 76. 7 and 6 are 13 and 12 and 13 are 25, which add up to 7. What ever happened to the 6? (76x76=5776... which ends up being 25 which ends up at 7 again...) My favorite place today was in the orbit of an orange ball, spinning, above a gas station. And I was attached to a slow orbit and I passed right through trees and through walls and through the freshly wet hair of a beautiful woman, and further, above the street, and then far away, I could see through a window how she looked for a hairdryer. Or a towel? Then the trees again, the walls, the not very new ikea cabinets in the kitchen, the door, the hair, I stopped. My favorite spot today was in the line of sight to a spinning orange ball. It was in the hair of a very beautiful woman. Freshly washed wet hair. Just the perfect length, just the perfect texture, just the perfect temperature. I listened to the thoughts, streaming through the many strands. They were plans and thoughts and flights of the imagination. Beauty is made out these things. The calculations here are much more complex than the stuff above, of course. The number we might probably find here would more likely be 9... 7+2... or the German word for No... often used as a soft yes. The hair on our heads is maybe a pointer to something somehow. "Look, this is where we come from, this is where thoughts happen. This is where things are interesting." I am losing my hair. My forehead is growing larger and larger and eventually one will be able to see the drawings on my scalp. The cats and dogs and hunting scenes. Soon they will become visible. Or are they on the outside of my scalp really? Or are they the decorations on the inside of my head. How could I possibly find out? (Would I ever want to?) My favorite spot today was in a voice. The voice was on the outside of bodies, at times. Sometimes it was only on the inside. It was a voice never released as voice. Humans can do that. We can train each other to fall in love with maybe even just a tiny portion of somebody's voice... a "yes" or a "no" (or 9) or maybe the breather between words? ...and then when the person who's voice we learned to love writes to us, well then their voice is released inside... another one of those miracles of paintings on the inside of the skull... that voice... (hello... mon Ami...) And I would have never thought that it could be so amazing to see my own name in flames. Sharp, pointy flames, really amazing flames. Like the ones in a miniature painting... there, above the entrance, to the left. Really wished this had been the entire day. The entire day spent in the orbit of a spinning orange ball, in the hair of a beautiful smart ingenious woman, in the trees, listening to variations of a voice. Maybe if I close my eyes now, and if I listen very still. Maybe then this day will reenact itself, as just that. Just these events. Imagined or not... 76, 76... what is it that happened in 76?....
It was Slobodan's first day at the office. I picked him up at security, two stories below the surface of Manhattan. He was there to pick up his new picture ID. Between meetings we both only had about 30 minutes to get some lunch. The closest place to get some good food was Korea town. The closest restaurant in Korea town to be serving lunch at 3:30PM was the one with the cliff and the waterfall. I really do not remember the name. Probably not yet. The cliff and the waterfall extend over the entire large east wall. Two full floors of faux nature, all inclusive with protective overhang, plastic plants, never ending supply of mountain water. There is also the white concert piano. It has its own little area on the second floor. The pianist must climb over a narrow mountain path to get to his instrument. He must press himself against the boulders and probably also make sure to never kick the piano down onto the tables below. Lunchtime was actually over. Probably at three. We were directed to the second floor. I sat with my back to the window. As I was moving into my bad feng shui spot, the glare of the sun, reflected in some surface outside, blinded me so severely that it took quite a while for me to see the table, the piano, the cliffs, just in general where we were, again. Not that I had forgotten. It was just that the brightness of the light made worked almost like the opener of a new scene. Was I now looking at the past? Was this here a vision of the future? Were we now in a parallel universe? All of the above? (None?) The menus arrived. I made sure not to order anything that would have any beef. For the last weeks, all of my orders seemed to contain pieces of the animal. I wanted to not eat meat this time. I wanted to make sure. We both ordered the same dish (I think it was 10-28... which translated into a name I can not remember. At least not yet?) Small side dishes arrived. There was the tofu, there was kimchi, more pickled stuff, some leaves, some strings, some things. (All spicy, yet delicious.) I think it took me this long to actually realize that there were people sitting next to us, at a larger table, a bit further away from the window. They were two women, probably in their early twenties. I could not guess their heritage, I could not quite pinpoint their possible origin. It did not really matter at this point. They were sitting across from each other and they were finishing their meal. Closer to me, sitting in a high chair, was a bare-chested boy. He was maybe two or so, I could not really guess his age. For once I do not really know too many bare-chested two year olds (I don't know any). On the other hand, he had a very strangely built body. It was the body of a much older person. His chest resembled almost a miniature version of what mine looked like when I was sixteen. I am by no means a muscular person, but this boy looked as if he were a teenager who had just discovered weights. The boy did not speak. He looked around as if he were a trapped wild animal. He grabbed one of the empty side kimchi dishes and banged it repeatedly against the edge of his seat. At the same time, he made very loud, high pitched, shrieking noises. Over and over again. Both women ignored him. They carried on their conversation which was about, "you know her who told him about the other guy who then told the other girl about what he thought was that other outrageous thing." I liked the taste of the very dark leaves covered with some sort of red paste. Some of the mayonaise covered tofu chunks (and I do not know if either of the just named was even remotely involved) tasted really quite delicious as well. By the time our main dish arrived, the boy's screams were penetrating even the most focussed attempts to ignore him. The woman, who I assumed was his mother, said something to him, then checked something in what appeared like the back compartment of the child. She pulled the boy out of the high seat and placed him on the floor. He continued screaming, now standing up, walking around, running, standing. I just now noticed that his outfit had been originally designed to cover his torso as well. It just had been opened, turned into something like light blue pants. They were now also dark blue and brownish and had other colors. The mother left her seat. She was now standing with her back to us. I just now noticed her massive, wavy hair. She looked like an incredibly steep mountain of hair, from which two legs extended only to not drag the hair-ends on the ground. At least not for now. I imagined her hair would continue to grow, quickly, it would soon flood the space around us, it would envelope the boy in his soiled pants, us, the tables, the floor below us, the mountain, the white piano, maybe all of Korea town. I have to say I was afraid the mother had just decided to change her boy right there, on the table. I imagined her changing the boy right between the side dishes and the beef plates. I felt thrown back to 1995, when it was my job, for the entire year, to change children of a range of ages, often unpredictable ages, definitely at lunch time, several of them, one after the other, in a badly ventilated room, when my partner would often throw up in a stall next to me, or just leave, or... The boy did not smell a bit. The mother took a diaper. She took the boy by a hand. She left the area around our tables. She left the floor. The screams of the boy were soon more distant. They sounded far away enough for us to hear the other woman speak on her cellphone, about "you know her who told him about the other guy who then told the other girl about what he thought was that other outrageous thing." a waiter arrived and cleaned their table. the same waiter brought desert. the woman ended her conversation and began to eat desert. The boy returned maybe 15 minutes later. All he was wearing now were his shoes, untied, and a giant diaper with some small pictures on them. No, I do not remember what the pictures were of. The children I would change were often too old to have diapers with pictures. About three minutes later, the mother came up the stairs. She looked defeated. In her outstretched hand however was something that looked almost like a light blue skin of an animal: Light blue and dark blue and very, very brown. Actually. Very brown. Her friend pulled a plastic bag out of the back net of the carriage. The mother then very carefully lowered the completely soiled piece of child clothing into that. She tied a knot. they then both tied the boy's shoes. The mother grabbed the now oddly quiet boy off the floor with both of her arms and she slammed him into the high seat. Now he screamed again. She must have hurt his knees or shins, or maybe his back as well. She pulled him up again. This time he had enough time to stretch out his legs and so he ended up in a position that looked a bit more like sitting. He grabbed one of the plastic dishes off the table in front of him and began banging it against the edge of his seat. Maybe this was why he looked so muscular. He probably really liked hitting things over and over with all his force. The women ate their desert. It was chocolate and green tea ice cream. I think it was. Brown and green were the colors. They left soon after. The half hour of lunch was over. We had to return to the office. There were separate meetings. Tomorrow there will be more. Very important. Did I ever even tell any of the stories of 1995? Did I ever even mention any of this here? I just checked... I did not... Hmm... Not sure if nine years are enough of a distance? They probably are not. I should wait.
There is a wall of pouring rain outside of the window. The city appears to be trapped in the midst of a waterfall. Are these the remnants of hurricane Ivan? A manhole cover on the north west corner of 96th and Broadway is repeating a spinning dance on a white fountain of sea-foam, flying off the ground for several inches, again and again and again. A father and his bright yellow colored child are observing this urban geyser from what looks from here like a stupidly close distance. I guess if the rain were worse, they would be the perfect self elected victims of the storm. The rain is a bit more quiet now. Street furniture seems to be back in its resting place. It might be a good idea to just go back to sleep. Dreams are best when there is a rushing steam and rolling thunder outside...
hmm, I wonder why my body is not asleep yet. My mind certainly has been dreaming for quite a while now... good night and good morning.
There was no lunch today. Around lunch time, I was sitting across the table from a very fast speaking, smart, tripple alpha guy (no, not alone). He made one of those double twirls in the air with his index fingers asking:"Where is my lunch?" After the day had entered the atmosphere, pulled by some gravity of maybe time, I sat down in a nice leather-and-chrome chair by the giant window and stared at the Empire State Building. It illuminated the dense cloud around it in a Rosh Hashanah blue. The iPod billboard over Herald Square was as yellow and black as the Nikon billboard before it in that same spot. I wanted to take a picture of the Empire State Building. The reflections of the bright lights inside made the landmark appear as if it also were sitting here, right behind me, insignificant: a projection onto a space below the lowered office ceiling. I held up some black presentation board to lock myself out of this reflection game, I wanted to pretend I was outside. It almost worked. Then it was just me, leaning onto the glass, holding my hand as if I wanted to protect the flame of a giant candle from going off. "Good luck with whatever you are attempting to do there, Sir," said the guy at my credit card security department, when I called them again to announce that I had decided to buy yet another handsome little piece of art. I have no idea what I am attempting to do. I read in the Nokia press release (it was for their new nokia.com/art website,) that art is one of the oldest forms of connecting people. I am sorry... I actually think I am in love. The framer called me to tell me that I should maybe try to make a new appointment with him next week. My feeling is that what he was telling me in his Japanese politeness was that he is never going to speak with me again. But I did not have lunch today. There was no time for leaving the man with twirling fingers and to run out to chelsea... oh it does not matter. I had an apple. I am allergic to apples, but I had one anyway. (I think I am actually allergic to the chemicals on and under the apple's skin.) It was around 9pm, after I had managed to reply to the emails that burned little holes into my inbox. I had the apple in one of the nicer kitchens. The fruit was one of the free apples, sent in by a vendor, just to announce that their technology now also works on... macintosh. I managed not to cut myself when splitting the thing in to what my grandfather used to call "little soldiers". I completely forgot about the blade when cleaning it. The blade never forgets that it is a really sharp thing. My thumb will now not forget the sharpness of the blade either. It was in the same kitchen where just yesterday boiling water burst out of one of those especially labeled faucets, straight onto my left hand. (Oh and I did not drop the cup.) I only burned two fingers. It was nice to keep them in ice for an hour or so. No blisters. And I would like to be somewhere far away from here right now. I would really love to just forget all of the above. I would really like to just even forget time differences and just be there. My eyes would probably be half closed. And it would be really beautiful and warm. And it would be perfectly beautiful. And maybe it would be windy. And maybe the sky would be gigantic. Maybe we would be closer to it. Yes definitely. "It's so warm down there, like butter cream. So warm..." the train was pulling into the station as I barely managed to get onto page 9 of the book I now decided to read to somehow glue together that open chest cavity of mine. There was no lunch today. And why would I even complain. Things are amazing. Things are amazing... things. Thoughts are beautiful... thoughts.
Sometimes there are little imprints of birds in the concrete of the sidewalk. A winged friend must have landed when the pavement was being poured and so the documented walk pattern is there. Sometimes it is just one step. Sometimes a bird took an extended walk on the soft stones. There were leaves in the pavement yesterday. Memories of leaves. The otherwise very flat concrete was interrupted by far superior indentations. They were probably ahorn leaves. They might have fallen into these places several years ago. Now they were a reminder of autumn. What a favorite season it is. And it is here again. The fall. The fall is back. My favorite season, somehow starting with the ninth month, every year. Here at least. Yesterday felt like autumn. There was a certain scent in the air. The evening was a beautiful one. There were puppets on stage. The grass was man made. There were suitcases. Three puppeteers helped to move objects in ways that made them appear alive and beyond. I am not sure I was able to follow the entire play completely. But maybe that's not a bad thing either. Maybe it is not a bad thing. Other things mattered so much more. And they were so much more beautiful than even the most perfect looking puppets. Autumn is here. Soon the trees will glow in most incredible colors. Soon the sky will become a dense blanket again. It will embrace the skyscrapers, the smaller houses, the trees, us. I am looking forward to this. A season of beauty. I want to bury myself in it. Completely. I want to dive into it. The great time of the year.
The woman at the table next to us cried. She confessed that she had not eaten sugar for at least six years. Last time she "binged on carbs" was when she had a piece of a bagel from a co-workers plate. That was last week... no month. Sometimes I imagine restaurants in which conversations from other tables are transmitted to a little receiver on a table in a different corner or room of the place. Maybe the names used in the conversations could be bleeped out. Maybe the transmission could come from a completely different restaurant? Imagine the mix of oysters and pizza... Maybe the only factor common could be the number of parties at the table. Maybe their gender-ratio could be common too. Couples would receive the transmission of other couples. Single eaters would hear the whisper of the inner dialogue at another lonely table... and larger parties... well larger parties sometimes rarely say or listen to anything anyway. A bagel. I just brought one to this table and it was one with "everything" and it had then some on it and it was also supposedly toasted. (Though if that bagel was toasted, then I would get drunk by sitting at a bar with just a glas of mineral water in my hand.) Now and for the next few days there is going to be a halo of dough in my stomach. I can feel it. It is developing a strong magnetism towards the chair I am sitting on. Ugh. Maybe I should not do this again. Next sunday I will just lick the leaves of my little lime tree for breakfast. I will try to avoid the thorns. At least the coffee is not sour. (It was last week, or the week before? Both?) The shadows in the street below are intriguing and long and dark. I should be out there, clicking like a madman. But I just threw my anchor here... my elbows are so comfortable on this warm and wooden desk. Bagel magnet works so well... I surprised myself this morning by watching an email grow in front of me. I had completely forgotten about my fingers and the slow thoughts were just trickling onto the screen as if no keyboard existed. Now I am back to watching the dance of my picky dumb digits. Am I one of those cases that could be more spontaneous and brilliant after a mild car accident? Could a concussion finally bring out that genius bottled up inside of my puny skull? Is this why it is sometimes good to not just sit there with a large glas of water, but with a tiny one, of what the russians call the "small water"... actually not even sit there, but make sure it remains empty at all times?... Maybe?... My swell brain is blocking its own way out of that bone box. A man at the table inside of me is crying. He has not fed his brain properly for what feels like a long time. Last time he "binged on brilliance" was when he had a conversation with a brilliant woman. It felt like stealing bits and pieces of her plate. Is this what it feels like when meiosis of the mind takes place? Is this what it feels like? Will we soon be one of those enraged couples, scaring even new yorkers, even in the street? The couple of I and I... invisible to others, very real to us? A yellow cab just backed up on Broadway to pick up a girl wearing a yellow shirt which also matched the hair of a woman in a very short red dress who wore glasses which reminded me that even the idea of glasses is very exciting to me. And now a jogger in a yellow shirt and red shorts is crossing the same street... no glasses. Yet they are here, in my mind... they are, really, they were just folded up and put onto the night table there, see them? They are that soft blur, right there. It might be time to stop writing this post. Or the downstair neighbors will really have something to complain about. (maybe they should.) ...
It is not like I had been one of those who had run up the stairs. And I also had not been one of those who had run from the smoke, the dust. I also was not there to see the events in person. I was preparing for a meeting in midtown. I saw the events on television. I stayed where I was. Well, at least my body did. I do not think anybody's spirit remained in the old place. And so I did not go to ground zero today, my body did not. I looked at the sky, until the sun set, the lights went on, not very far from here. Not very far at all.
The sky is the deepest of blues right now. In the building across broadway only one window is lit. A man with a funny walk just entered the subway station. A couple in posh trainings outfits just crossed 96th street. And a few blocks from here, a helicopter keeps hovering, obviously with the engine on, a loud annoying kerosine burning shouting self-important machine. Wait till the sun comes out. It will show this guy who on earth has more staying power. I am not here to wait for the outcome of this. The next hour at least will be spent on levitating through birch forests, where the air is so sweet and heavy that all living things swim in it and push their way from tree to tree with closed eyes, peacefully. And without making the tiniest of sounds.
My eyes looked a bit as if they had been collecting the memories of my dreams in their neat little pockets over night. The dreams must have been big, the pockets were bulging. No it did not feel in any way nice and I could barely see it as well, both eyes swollen, the left one asking to be scratched and rubbed and moved, right there, right then, a lot. Allergy season is back, I guess, and I must have not noticed it until the morning, when after a night of rubbing my face against the pillow cover, the histamines really kicked in hard. Behind a wall of water outside of the window, there were large groups of human mushrooms, open umbrellas, many, many, grouped neatly around the entrances of the subway station. I had never seen the "Pharmacy" neon sign giggle, but it seemed to do just that this time. The P lit up so rarely. The "ha" "ha" again and again. The rest of the sign was clearly broken. "ha" "ha" "Pha" "Pha" "ha" "ha" "har" "har" "har"... The umbrellas were more and more. The water poured like a straight stream from a giant bucket held over the city. The faint voice of an announcer could be heard from between the rushing water. The eye-drops which I hoped to be able to use, expired in March of beautiful 2003 (or was it 2008?, no 2003). Rubbing the left eye made it even wilder, more demanding, it asked for more, greedy eye, blackmailing me with the blurriest version of the "ha" "ha" "har" "har" "har"... of the unreachable Pharmacy sign. The trains were not running at all. A woman in soaked clothes and with streaks of black mascara over her face announced to anybody who happened to be in the lobby of the building that there was no service. None at all. I asked about the other trains, the lines running near Central Park. And nobody knew an answer. (I just assumed that those who went to check, never came back to tell otherwise.) More blurred versions of wet people. A businessman wore a now cheap looking shapeless suit over a transparent because very wet shirt. A wet dog gave up shaking off his fur. In the background somewhere was were the piercing cries of a frustrated child. It took a little while to get to Central Park. Streams of water from all possible directions made the walk of a few blocks a dodging adventure. The station of the C line was packed up to the stairs. It seemed as if a whole village of New Yorker editors preferred to take this particular stop. Yes there were also those with black streaks on their quiet faces, but the majority appeared to be in their 50's, dressed for the office and rather curious and cautious, incredibly eloquent, sarcastic. They were not ready to spend their $2 on a gamble either. There was a packed crowd, but all of it on the free side of the turnstiles. The token booth clerk was calm. She explained over and over again that trains were running sporadically. She also explained that she was probably not really the one who should "file a complaint with the MTA" and that the straphangers, were the better ones to do that. (Complain about what, about the unexpected monstrous rain?) An express train unexpectedly arrived. It was packed and it was going uptown. The token booth clerk still recommended that the crowd take this one to 125th street, just to get the express train down to their desired destination. And so they did. There was a push and a pull and the mass of commuter-cattle squeezed themselves and others through the turnstiles. And when my great moment came. My metrocard implied: "Insufficient fare". The train was gone, the crowds were not. I managed to get myself to a vending machine, which reluctantly gave me a new metro card. (It at first rejected all possible forms of payment: wet cash, wet and wiped credit cards.) I managed to get in at last. I went to the local train platform. The crowd there would never possibly fit into a single train. I tried to stay near to the wall. Tried to avoid the possibility to end up on the tracks. A woman in an incredibly wet t-shirt explained to a very attentive businessman how far she had already traveled on this particular morning. I finally found my spot near the very end of the platform. Not far from a mother with two little kids, both of them with the supernatural powers to express the frustration of all of us here by screaming on top of their lungs. No, a train was not about to arrive any time soon. It did not matter how many times a blurry silhouette leaned over the yellow platform edge to look into the tunnel from which the possibly completely overcrowded Subway was supposed to emerge. I waited for probably 15 minutes. It must have been definitely less than 18, as just seconds after I made the decision to leave the station, and made my way to the outside of the turnstiles, where a new mob of highly educated people was asking the same questions... well... As soon as I got out of the paid waiting zone, a train arrived. The clerk explained again that all should take this local train uptown, I was pushed into the turnstile, swiped my card and it explained: "Just Used." And so I walked. It was relatively easy and it was something active and hopeful. The water was not all that bad. The crowds on Central Park West were also relatively civil. I walked. It was not too bad at all. I walked for miles. The further I walked towards midtown, the fancier the old lobbies became of the old apartment buildings became, the better dressed the concierges were, the nicer was the fabric on some umbrellas. There was a giant crowd around the American Museum of Natural History. I imagined the fossils trapped in the walls of the station downstairs. I imagined them breaking free after the station had been flooded. Maybe they could swim to the ever rising surface. Maybe they would then dive between the skyscrapers, a man made, concrete, coral reef. Fancy looking guests at the Trump building on Columbus Circle used their free golden trump-rellas, designed to match the Donald approved, Ivana invented decor. (I imagined the dinosaurs from the museum's subway station enjoy these particular people as an especially delicious little snack.) It took me about an hour and a half to get from 95th street all the way to Herald Square. A wet midtown smelled like various wet body parts of various species. It was as if all those trashy scents had been locked in, only to come free if one just added some water. I was not the last one to arrive at the office. Many others had been trapped in tunnels, or on bridges in steamy little cars. I looked out the window for a few moments. The blurry mushrooms down in the street had mostly black tops. I never bought new eye drops. The dinosaurs never broke free. Maybe next time.
In a perfect world, there would be two drawing tables (at least...). And there would be striped table cloths (with stripes saying more than words, perhaps?) And there would be a sky in all rooms (and the sky would be a memory of what the walls were like before they became themselves.). And there would be a rim right under the sky, from which images would ripen slowly with just the right amount of altered light and love and care and skill (and even though time would be involved in their creation, the perfect results would be very, very timeless). And there would be peace (in perfect palatable amounts, and also the kind that should rule the world.) And there would be unscripted and yet perfectly brilliant stories (and they would be like magic, that glues humans together, not the other kind that tears them apart.) And the food would be just spectacular (because it would also ripen with the same love and attention as the images of its relatives). And we would not need to even remember the exact names and times of things as time and things would just not really be all that important in a perfect, beautifully perfect world...
Who would have thought that there would be a man completely covered with pink paint. Had an elephant exploded in front of him? Was this some sort of security device souvenir? He looked very angry, his eyes flickered. He could have knocked me of that bench. Had I laughed he would have. Had I looked one more time he would have. It was all too surreal for me to react quickly enough. ANd so I did not and so he did not and so he was just a man completely covered with the remnants of some pink paint explosion who walked by me, disregarding paths of course, in Prospect Park at 9am. I happened to be drawing there, by the lake, straight onto little paint swatches. And so very quickly I realized that he had not even been pink. The color was more of a 8106 Minute Mauve (from deck 3-214)... More definitions, finer thoughts?, he still looked quite... hmm angry?
Gems after gems after gems after gems. As if the lights had been turned on for the very first time, the Met was glowing with brilliance yesterday. The rooms were the same, the objects were the same, the time was the same, but finally, finally the tiny splinters came forward and rushed to welcome the visitors. No death this time. More the record of life. The colors, the colors. They were not those faded-over-centuries ones, this time they were time travelers, telling stories of burned glazes, of cows eating nothing but mango leaves, and layers upon layers of the incredibly dangerous urushiol. Was it a cloud, was it a mystic something into which the freshly combed lion was pushing his claws? What did the horse without a neck do in a painting that had the clear traces of photoshop tennis? How and why did a giant piece of furniture appear in a world created for smaller things? How come the stones did not even need a date? How brilliant, how brilliant, how wonderful to see that the most elaborate clothing is often the best camouflage. How incredible to see a tiny painting of fire that manages to sting the eye. How incredible to see worlds again for the first time. Oh, I want to go, I want to go, I want to see the giant scissors of Hans Christian Andersen cut tiny mirrored ballerinas and swans, out of blotting paper. I want to see the projections of shadows imagine to be moving groups in a shadowy world. Where is that room in which it is allowed to use magnifying glasses. Yesterday's visit to the Metropolitan Museum was spectacular. No pickles.
The sniper helicopter looks almost cute from here. A red and white toy, with the side door open. It is in no rush to circle over manhattan. An old green tanker truck, the logo on the side a cute lit match, just made its way down on Broadway. A train that will not stop in the station makes so much noise it overpowers the street sounds even here on the 8th floor. I think I will need to go to the park again, at least for a little while perhaps. It looks like my brain somehow refocused and I am having some trouble to see beyond the obvious surface of certain things. Need some slowly applied re-calibration.
It really is not easy to write when on the 65th anniversary of the beginning of World War II, when there are men on television naming most deadly weapons systems as if they were angels protecting this country. Among other things, but don't even get me started... I have seen speeches like this before. Maybe in other languages, maybe on faded celluloid. Please, there has to be a way to let those after us know that Madison Square Garden is not the Sportpalast.