Monday, May 1, 2006

may day

I just got a phone call that has disrupted my otherwise lovely day, a day that I was so excited to record here. And should this news alter the tone of the rest of my day, of those past moments? It shouldn’t, but of course, I cannot recount those moments with the joy that I experienced them with, this other worry now on my mind. Nothing is independent of itself, every thing we once thought perfect is in danger lest we rethink that perfect thing under a less than perfect mood. The world takes on a blahness then, even those special things, moments infected with this general gloom.

First, this worry: I got a call from the regular who hasn’t called me in a couple weeks and I was excited to hear from him. However, he told me that this other guy he sees often just told him that he has chlamydia. The regular has yet to be tested for this, but wanted to let me know of the risk that might be there to me. I wasn’t aware that you could really get much STD-wise just by getting head, but apparently chlamydia cultures can live in the throat, which is just fantastic. And I mean, as far as STDs go, it probably is the most benign one for men, presenting seemingly no dangers to those with a Y chromosome, and it can be easily treated with a dose of antibiotics. And yet still, even knowing this, I am still worried. My genitals feel endangered. They are scared. My body seems more delicate. And I don’t have health insurance, and so I have to go to the free city STD screening places, which from what I have heard, are awful places where the staff tries to scare you about your behavior and you have to wait around all day. And since they close at four (!), I doubt I will be able to make it there and get seen after I get off work any day this week. Which means, I will have to go on Saturday, which seems a long time into the future when I would like to know this information right now.

And what is up with the hours of the STD clinics? Wouldn’t more people get tested if they had evening hours and better weekend hours? I am assuming that there are a lot of people, the type of people that would need free health services, who cannot just take a day off to go into the clinic. Okay, now I am going to try my best to put this behind me, these thoughts, and tell you about my first day at work.

I woke up really early, at seven, had a nice leisurely breakfast, a nice shower, coffee, and read from this biography I am reading for about an hour, and then went into this job on Wall Street. I got off on Broad Street and there ahead of me was Federal Hall, a building that I was really excited to see after reading a bit about it this weekend in this Adams biography. I walk by this building kind of often, and will do so even more regularly now and never really give much thought to the fact that this building was the first seat of our government. The first session of the US Congress held its sessions here. On the second floor of this building, George Washington was sworn in as the first president. Adams, as vice president, was president of the Senate and attended sessions here, giving the deciding vote when there were ties on so many important issues.

The weather was beautiful as I walked past this building a couple blocks further down Wall Street, to my job. I transcribed an interview and copy edited another one, learned the format they type their interviews in. At one point, I asked how to spell a company name I had never heard of that someone said in the interview, and my boss looked at me a little weird and asked me, shocked, if I had never heard of this company. I said no. She said uh-oh, worried I think that she picked an idiot for this job. I have a modest knowledge of business, but some of the terminology I was typing and some of these company names were totally foreign to me. But, it is fun work. I really love typing things and making stuff that was said aloud into nice coherent paragraphs that can be read by other people.

At lunch, I walked a couple of blocks and ate a black and white cookie on the East River, looking over at Brooklyn Heights, imagining this stretch of river covered in fog at night, and Washington under this cover, moving all of his troops across the river silently, one boat at a time from Brooklyn Heights to Manhattan so his troops wouldn’t have been cornered on Long Island by the approaching British troops. There is so much colonial history underneath the imprint of all these big financial buildings in Lower Manhattan. I love it. I tried to be aware of those ghosts I was walking amongst today. Then I looked up at to the Brooklyn and Manhattan Bridge, and it was such a gorgeous view, such a nice way to spend my lunch break. I am sad that in a few weeks, the offices are moving from this location, right off the J Train, right on Wall Street, right by the river, to boring midtown, requiring me to take two trains, and have no quiet, lonely place on the water to eat my lunches.

I left at 3:30, really happy with this job and eager to return again tomorrow morning. On my way back, I stopped at Federal Hall, hoping to look at the inside. However, there is a dinky sign in the doorway that says laconically, “Closed for Renovations.” It doesn’t say of what sort, and most importantly, does not say for how long. There is no Reopening in such and such year to even plan some future trip here to. And from the little looksy around I had, it seemed that no such renovations were taking place. There was no machinery anywhere near the building, the inside looked totally deserted. There were no crews actively trying to get this important building up and ready for viewing. Just a bunch of tourists, there to see the Stock Exchange, resting on the steps of Federal Hall, showing each other the pictures they had just taken of themselves with their digital cameras.

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