Friday, September 3, 2004


Walking up Grand Street toward Washington Mutual, the sun was at back, making its descent. A man was sitting on the stairs outside a building and playing with a lighter, setting the flame to the back of his hand. I did not know what he was doing. I had thought he was gay before I saw him setting fire to his hand. Afterwards, I was no longer so sure.

Walking down Grand Street, home from the bank, the sun was in my eyes, making its descent. The street, the buildings all had that early morning or late afternoon glow about them when the sun is near the horizion. I crossed over Manhattan Street, right next to Matt's house and remembered walking home from his house early each morning to a similiar sight, and how happy it would make me to see the day starting and the sun just coming up. Shuttered buildings unshuttering. This afternoon, some buildings were in the process of shuttering, some already shuttered.

At the grocery store between the bank and my house, Key Food, I bought two cans of chickpeas, a cucumber, and a quart of milk. I stole a nice bag of coffee and salmon in a bag. The total was two thirty nine. I paid two forty and do not remember what the penny I got in change looked like.

I am going to play Trivial Pursuit tonight. The sun is still up. I am happy today. The new Bjork album is amazing. "Who Is It" is my favorite song so far. Talking to people, I find that everyone has a favorite song, a different favorite song, and no one is really familiar with anyone else's favorite song yet. I have been listening to the same song or two over and over again, and it appears other people have also. Talking to Rupert about the album, he told me about his favorite song, saying it had "mouth" in the title, but could not recall any lyrics, but did a good job describing the song and his reaction to it. I told him about "Who Is It" and he didn't recall it at all. Both of us agreed to go listen to these songs. And I went home and realized how pretty this "Mouth's Cradle" is. I really like sharing with people objects I love, and having other people share objects they love with me, and seeing what other people find beautiful. It allows me to appreciate the song better, looking for this beauty, knowing that someone else thought it was so melodic.

I finished reading Stephen Elliot's Happy Baby today, which is depressing and beautiful, and a totally differnt portrayal of the foster kid system than the really clean image presented in the background of Motherless Brooklyn. It is interesting to read these books in sequence because otherwise, I don't think I would have noticed what a benign view of the foster system MB has. However, HB sort of annoyed me with its hit-you-over-the-head life is awful bit. I also thought it was depressing (although probably true) the causal system of abuse and just general fucked-up-ness. How this happened because of this event earlier which was caused by this earlier event. The book has a reverse chronological set-up, going from his fucked up adult life to his fucked up childhood in and out of various foster homes to his own fucked up parents. This sort of social determinism really grates on me, and I want to say that it is not true, that it is not how things work, but it probably is. Maybe I want puppy dogs and lollipops from my fiction. Maybe I do read to escape. Maybe you do, too.

I went into the Strand to pick up my paycheck to see that walls had been taken down, and there is a huge staircase connecting all the floors in the middle of the store. The now removed walls that were hiding this construction were erected soon after I started working there. I am sort of glad that I was witness to these three stages of the Strand. The before, the construction, and the after. They are rushing to make it look nice before their big tv debut this Sunday on C-Span 2, when Art Spiegelman will be reading along some others. Maud Newton even mentioned it, and for some reason this made me oddly excited to have this store blurbed in some blog I read.

I am drinking iced coffee. My living room is now pretty dark to the point where I should turn on a lamp. It was not so when I started writing this.

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