Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Dekalb and Wyckoff

When I used to live off the Jefferson stop years ago, one of my favorite parts of living there and something that continually amazed me was the view you had when you got off the subway. If you looked down Wyckoff Avenue, you could see the big city made small, the Empire State Building off in the distance, other tall buildings less easily identifiable out there as well.

Years have passed and I now find myself living further out, now off the Dekalb stop, but the train still runs along Wyckoff Avenue and there is that same view and despite having lived in this city for a little over ten years now, I am still wowed by the sight of the New York skyline off in the distance just down the road, this dream of a city, which soon with just a quick subway I would be in, that skyline. I live here, there. Those silhouettes of skyscrapers and what they represent - that is my home. 

This past week, the view has become even more full of magic. I find myself getting on or off the subway right at that perfect moment when the sun setting behind that skyline, the city emitting a glow, burning red and yellow, the sky around it full of blues and purples and the grayish clouds in the foreground throwing these colors into relief, the sky on fire. I don't plan things this way and never even realize what time of day it is, sunset time, until I emerge from the subway staircase and see that gorgeous view down Wyckoff Avenue, making my heart race with joy, knocking the air from my lungs. 

I spent the early part of the evening today in the Park Avenue Armory viewing Paul McCarthy's show, "WS." The show, among many other things, was about getting back to the idea of home and what that even means as an adult, what it means to trace your way back to your childhood home, whether such a thing is possible, when the journey back is now haunted by a pornographic imagination, that now there is a desire to jerk off on your old front porch, to shoot your load there, to bring one time period into another, and whether that is to bring your current self back to that time or whether it's to drag that time into the present and show those memories that this is how things are now, that is less clear. There is a lot going on in the show. There are some real moments of beauty that happen if you allow yourself to engage with the video pieces in the side rooms. The pieces really get at something, and though that something is hard to articulate, these pieces make you feel like you are on the cusp of articulating what these things might be.

I rode the train home and thought about how happy I would be to never see another breakdancing troupe on the L train ever again. I got off the train and was wowed by the sunset, again for a moment feeling on the verge of articulating what things are about, what things mean. I came home and thought about one of the video pieces, "The Prince Comes," a video of studly princes fucking a giant doll and jerking off outside of McCarthy's childhood home. I jerked off to memories of the brunette guy in the video, a hunk of a man. Again, in that moment before I came, I knew what things meant. Saying them, putting those things into words, making those moments of insight last, that is another thing entirely.

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