There was an old paperback copy of Lars Eighner's Bayou Boy on his bedside table. It was a weathered book showing its age, having that look of vintage gay erotica. He recommended that I find a copy on eBay. He said that it's actually really good writing and not as porny as it might look. I wrote the title and author in my phone in the hopes that I would remember to find a copy of this book somewhere. It was a couple minutes before one o'clock this afternoon. Most of his belongings were in trash bags and an exterminator was due later that afternoon in an attempt to kill bedbugs, a problem he seems to have been fighting for months now. I am always a little nervous when I undress at his house, set my clothes down gently on a surface that for whatever reasons I assume to be less hospitable to bedbugs. I pissed in his mouth. I twisted his nipples. He gave me a blowjob and it brought me somewhat out of the massive hangover I have been under for the last two days.
I rode the train back downtown. I went to the gym. I walked around this city full of mist and light rain, the gray seemingly particularly onerous today. I thought about what lay beyond this gray. I thought about what it might do to my mood, to my life, to my time on this planet, if I were to live somewhere sunnier, if I were to live in Los Angeles for example, and which I am very strongly considering doing since one of my best friends is going to be moving there in May. I am thinking about home and belonging and also wandering, about what any of it means.
In the tunnel that runs underneath 14th Street between 6th and 7th Avenues, connecting the L train to the 1,2,3 trains, there is the homeless man who has his signs announcing that he is a New York Times published poet. He sells poems I believe. Since I have never seen poetry specifically featured in Times, I have always wondered about his claims. This man has been here seemingly as long as I have. I have seen him camped out in this tunnel for years. At the other end of the tunnel, closer to 7th Avenue, there is the guitar player who sings nothing but Beatles songs. He has pamphlets set up in his guitar case with ankhs on them and they seem to be tracts promoting some sort of spirituality. This man always has a smile on. His voice isn't as good as it used to be. His smile isn't as big and he seems noticeably older than when I first moved to New York. This man as well has been working this tunnel since I moved to New York nearly a decade ago.
These people present themselves on both the stay column and the go column as I contemplate what this city means to me.