Thursday, February 18, 2010

Desperately Seeking Art

Does it ever annoy anyone how some goddamn stranger in a uniform has the key to your mailbox and can slip in just about anything someone wants to send you? Bills, hate-mail, chain-letters, collection notices, the goddamn New Yorker which is really getting on my nerves: the fact that they even review the Jersey Shore reality show; and the poetry… except for a few decent ones— is 'garden-y' and Ladies-Home-Journalesque. But it seems to be a self-renewing subscription or maybe an anonymous trust-fund legacy someone left me. It shows up like an uninvited Gorey-esque guest, along with sneaker catalogues and Fresh Direct postcards. Doesn’t anyone bother to market-research that people like me don’t do mail-order, or takeout— don’t even have doorbells? I swear I remember hearing some old bluesman once telling an amplifier company rep 'If I done without it this long, ain’t gonna be much use to me now.’

But I was thinking today… no matter how many locksmiths there are in New York City, no matter how many security systems and firewalls, there are things you can’t keep out. Old age, for one— hunger, loneliness-- death, eventually. Pigeons—the goddamn pigeons that nest and roost and have sex on your windowsill unless you put out those spiky things which remind you that you’ve become a prisoner of your own paranoia. Rodents and bugs. Whether you admit it or not, they’re in your building, having a piss in your water supply, or rolling around in the produce while the market lights are out and the doors are locked.

The Purell/cleanliness obsession is annoying me, too. Like the numbers of people who let the swine flu propaganda run their life put plenty of money in the pockets of the Pfizer people. Who have now sold to Johnson and Johnson whose little heiress couldn’t keep germs and death out, with all the locks money could buy.

In New York City, Valentine’s Day is the holiday of broken hearts. Thank God it fell on a Sunday which seems a less painful day for people who are alone. Which includes at least half of those who are in a relationship. Of course I am a cynic. In my box of guitar picks are not one but two inscribed in red and pink from two different musicians who romantically chose February 14 for their wedding day. Killing 2 birds with one diamond. Both couples are long separated, both left fucked up kids, suicide attempts and neighbors who were sick to death of through-the-wall drama they didn’t pay for. Another thing you can’t lock out.

Lost gloves on the sidewalk always remind me of broken hearts. The inevitability of separation, and then having to discard the one that stayed with you, that stuck it out when the other one wandered. Some ex-boyfriend sends me a dozen roses every year. I’m sure there’s a whole list of us, because he’s just too damn efficient. Maybe he figures one of these days he’ll be too old and unattractive and will have to return to one of the scenes of his former crimes. Like a goddamn pigeon. I can’t even remember the end of our little affair, and not even too much about the beginning. But this year I went out on the eve of Valentine’s Day to some trendy rooftop lounge which felt Miami-esque except they gave you these red fleece robes so you could hang out on the roof and smoke. I drank some champagne and listened to inane alcohol-laced chatter from the nervous couples who had seen many fewer holidays than I, and thought about Valentine’s Nights of my youth spent at Max’s or Fanelli’s where the conversation shone like a honed knife-edge.

Turns out I left my gloves at the lounge— both of them. Maybe they ran off with another pair. At least they were together. Which makes me a little sad but reminded me that ex-lovers are like things sometimes--- you can’t hold onto them, and you can’t really help them when they’ve worn thin and don’t fit anymore. And maybe you can lock them out but you can’t lock them in. Memories, though… they seep in like smoke in the cracks. Like bad smells. Like the sound of sirens thankfully passing you by… or that old Art Pepper record you swear you can hear some nights, even when you don’t even live in that place anymore.

1 comment:

mark said...

The TROUBLE with this place is... we need harsher penalties for IDIOTS! RIGHT? Stiffer sentences for saying stupid SHIT! RIGHT? Especially (yes, I had to look that up... Es-pe-cial [e spesh al] adj. special; particular --es-pe-cial-ly adv. but I had spelled it right..) Especially people that you KNOW know better than to say stupid stuff 'cause they're NOT IDIOTS! Here's an example... "Prez" said that we "avoided depression"... OH, REALLY?!! Now I luuuuuuv Barack and Michelle... they are the President and First Lady of cool and SEXY... but OH, REALLY?!! I've been a little depressed... don't know 'bout you... most people I know have been "depressed"... Does he know that NYC is still part of the United States? They ARE from Illinois... the land of Daly... where DEAD people know better than to stay home on election day...
There's no real downside to doing STUPID SHIT! RIGHT?!! At least, not around here... look at the guys with "pants on the ground" syndrome... pants halfway between his knees and his "junk"... slowing down people trying to get on the train... there's NO PENALTY for that! I can't believe it! It BOGGLES the mind! How can this be? Cop sez,"Pull up those PANTS!" Guy sez,"No!" THAT'S IT!!! It just goes to show you, New York City needs a KING!!!!!! Not a mayor, not a borough president... we've GOT those... how's THAT workin' out for ya'... HUH!! HUH!! Answer me that!!! If we had a King, then the lady cop could say, "Pull up yer' DAMN pants by order of the KING!!!" And if he doesn't do it, BOOM!!! Right in a DUNGEON!!! Hangin' by his wrists... pants fallin' off on the dungeon floor, him cryin' "I want my lawyer, I want my MAMA"... BOOM!!! His mama and his lawyer, right in the DUNGEON with him... hangin' by their wrists... and Mama sez',"I TOLD YOU to pull up those DAMN PANTS!!!" Stiffer sentences for STUPID SHIT!! RIGHT?!! What's the penalty for SINGING "Pants on the Ground"? Nothing? How can this be?? It BOGGLES the mind... Harsher penalties for texting and driving... (or texting and anything... it's just ANNOYING...) D'ya know that cellular reception has gone down dramatically in the last 6 months in spite of all the improvements to the system? People's fancy phone "apps" are straining the system to the BREAKING POINT!!! It BOGGLES my BRAIN!!! How 'bout the bus/train not "meeting" the Ferry? Instead of spending a BILLION dollars on Ferry terminals with aquariums and bomb sniffing dogs... (Don't get me wrong, I luuuuuuuuuv the dogs... but they're a MILLION DOLLARS APIECE!!! LITERALLY!!! It BOGGLES the mind!!!) anyhoo, if the train "met" the boat, ya wouldn't need a terminal, ya'd JUST GET ON THE BOAT!!! (And less people would be trying to BLOW YOU UP!!!)
Maybe what we need is a "night shift" King of NYC... sorta' like at work, where the night shift comes in and ignores all the BULL and does what needs to be done so that everybody can stay SANE!!! Besides, I'm BUSY in the daytime!!! mm
PS. And what about when they make you type,"Bz6zBBG" because you won't give them yer' FRIGGIN' cell number... I'm PREPAID, DAMMIT!
PPS. Maybe I could get our FRIGGIN' WEATHER back from the CANADIANS, TOO!!!
PPPS. FRIEND ME on Facebook... it's not like I tried to have you "rubbed out"... (ok, that one time...SORRY...)