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present tension

Archive for July, 2008

Fly Me to the Moon

Friday, July 25th, 2008

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Say, I’ve got a swell idea. Let’s move to the moon. If we get enough people to sign on to the idea, I know some builders who’d just jump on it. The land is cheap, for one thing. I mean real cheap! As in FREE. That means it’s even cheaper than those buck-an-acre lots they’re selling in those gutted-out counties in Upstate New York. You hear about buying “summer homes” up there in those depopulated cow counties. Or “retirement homes,” which somehow sounds even more desperate. People keep telling you how lucky they were to get in on the ground floor, and how Jerkwater America is a fantastic place to invest, particularly if you can invest only $54.

There …

Those Mutant Children

Saturday, July 12th, 2008

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Here I am, working again at Chelsea Piers, the only place where you can keep up with top 40 hits while eating sushi, wearing workout gear, monitoring your e-mail and generally producing the words and drawings that your career depends upon. It will be very hard for me when I have to work in an office again.

You forget about the real world here. Half the people are extraordinarily fit and good-looking, and the others are just, well, old. Or black. You forget about the epidemic of hormone- and corn-syrup-induced obesity that rages on in the outside world, beyond the piers and past the moat that surrounds Manhattan. But just yesterday I was sitting here and saw a FAT BOY. A …

Holiday Exposure

Friday, July 4th, 2008

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I’m on an IND platform, West 50s, 6:40 am on July 4th. It being a long holiday weekend, most people have left the city, apart from assorted bohemians and the colored underclass. And everything is moving just a little…slow. I have to get to Penn Station by 7 and am beginning to panic that I won’t make it.

I play little mental games: if the train doesn’t come in two minutes, I’ll run upstairs, get some cash, hail a cab. Then another two minutes, and another two.

An old gypsy female gets off a train going in the opposite direction. She has an entourage of about 15 parcels and shopping bags, each one about big enough to hold a pair …