And so it begins. Day one.
Timo sur Snapshot 01
A weekend trip to New York City. Day one and I realize that my five-year-friend here will not turn into the father of my future children as we had somewhat seriously entertained. We just don’t get along. He has a permanent scowl, hates walking and suffers to accompany me to the Matisse Cut-Outs exhibit the following day.
In his small defence, it really was much ado about nothing. Ridiculous, even. So in fact it was fascinating but only because there was so much hype about something so very unfascinating. I heard some French patrons say « …comme école maternelle… » with smirks on their faces and for me that summed it up. Even still, his poor sport attitude was disappointing and childish but at least cleanly ended our story.
Day three I took the PATH from Hoboken to Christopher Street in the West Village. I wandered without destination or plan for hours and doing just this is my humble and personal utopia. Then through TriBeCa and finally to Battery Park. Can you believe after so many visits I was finally going to do the ferry to Ellis Island and see up close the Statue of Liberty and that the ticket window closed at three twenty and I arrived I-kid-you-not at three twenty-five? It’s true. Can you likewise believe that I found not one but FOUR of the same tags I had photographed in Paris over the last few summers? This is truly exciting and rips wide open for me a ton of new questions about these artists’ identities and origins and lives and so on. The night ended at Rudy’s in Hell’s Kitchen where they give you one free hotdog with every drink you order, upon request. A beautifully-executed reclamation on eating like white trash.
Today was the East Village, Loho, Lower East Side, Chinatown. More graffiti, more coffee, no wine, curiously. At each stop I read at least one chapter from each of the two books I’m currently reading. One is Leonard Cohen’s first novel. Reminds me of Henry Miller in that it’s narrative is poetic and slightly abstract and partially autobiographical and simply brilliant. The other I will not even mention the name of but it’s banal and routine and akin to doing bicep curls with a two-pound dumbbell. But still I read it because I am in a two-person book club and knowing that the other person is reading it, too, makes it enjoyable nonetheless. I’ll pick the next book, though, that’s certain.
Landing already. Toronto and NYC are only a couple of chapters away. My ears are popping like mad.
I ate my entire breakfast. Four buttered halves of some compact and perfectly-square loaf of commercially-baked whole wheat bread, two small round pieces of peameal bacon, three over easy eggs, and a nice mixed green salad with a light vinaigrette which I sprinkled with siracha sauce. I sat there and ate my Sunday morning post-Saturday night much needed comfort meal at KOS in Kensington as couple number one arrived and couple number two arrived and couple number one left and couple number two left. I sat there with my book and my breakfast and blankly but contentedly ate the whole thing. It was good. Then I took my coffee and paid my bill and sat on the patio in the warm Autumn wind and drank my coffee and took a photo of the red and yellow and orange leaves that had fallen from the trees overhead and had gathered into a pretty pile against the brick wall. It was nice. Then the rest of the world began to wake up and invasively dot the peaceful landscape. So it was time for me to go.
Coffee breath, whisky breath. Long, dirty fingernails. Bushy beard and moustache. Untrimmed nose hairs, untrimmed ear hairs. Ghastly skinny, he forgets to eat but not to drink. He is unkempt and indifferent. He is a genius, a prodigy. They’ll see! He creates, he truly exists. Anything else is unquestionably irrelevant. He is not gross, not disgusting, not even strange! He is dedicated, he is obscenely focussed, he is proflific. He is mixing oils and having visions and existing in a quixotic place, far and distant. I lie prone, naked, perfectly still, mind dreamy, heart heavy. He is God. They’ll see!
It waited for me the rain this morning I told him yesterday I am going for a walk in the rain at dawn you are welcome to join me. And in my first few steps fell the first few drops and then more and then harder. In the first few minutes, fully-formed streams flowed beneath my feet that’s how hard the rain fell. Big drops from trees and the smattering of smaller drops on my umbrella it was exactly like the sound of fireworks. But closer, blunter, the sound of mud, of peace.
Bukowski wrote, in Women: « Most people are better at saying things in letters than in conversations, and some people can write artistic, inventive letters, but when they try a poem or novel they become pretentious. » That’s me. That’s what I think. Suddenly his sweet, numerous messages have stopped and I am saddened by the silence. I both embrace and hate how affected I am. By this, by everything. Yes, I have learned to say: « I am sensitive. » But to be a good writer you have to be tough. To not care what other people say, the judgments, the criticisms. « Be prolific » the guy on the subway with the Hemingway tattoo had said to me. But I’m too busy paying the bills. And falling in love with strangers who aren’t falling in love with me.
In seven weeks I will be forty. If Bukowski were still alive he’d be ninety-four. I wish I could have a word with him. Would he objectify me? I’d be devastated if he didn’t. Will I live to ninety-four? Why do I not like the boys who like me and love the ones who don’t?
Sunshine and high twenties all week.
A fine mist, a grey sky, an unconsciously slower step induced by the bruine the blanket the beauty of a peaceful morning such as this where the sun is not orchestrating productivity and profitability of a beautiful day but the clouds are saying there is time to repose to go slow to lay low. Today there is time.
It is the last day of summer and the first day of September. It is the perfect place between what has passed and what will be, one day of time standing still. A whole day to breathe. A whole day pretending it is always early morning, the purest most precious time of day. A whole day spent this way!
Thank you mist thank you sky thank you fog thank you I love you, Sun, but then I love the rain greatly too and I’m awed I am moved thankful to be so calm at this junction.