Thursday, July 18, 2002

Bad day today.

Tuesday, July 16, 2002

Ah, I had the sort of lunch that, from the far-off reaches of childhood, one imagines will take place daily in adulthood. A long (over-long by working-stiff standards) lunch in a pleasant bistro, with an erudite companion—one who has worked long and retired and lived to tell of both.

And now I am in the stale office precincts once more, basking in the nasty soul-sucking fluorescents and grappling with the recalcitrant computer that, just this morning, absconded with my new e-mail and refused to budge with the mere two sentences of it that I needed to tell me where, in fact, I was to meet my lunch companion.

A lunch replete with wine, with armchair philosophizing (is there any better kind?), with fury at the terrorists, and with the general musing over the What To Do Now that hovers like a haze, a flame, a motivational carrot, over the best lunches. We try to solve our own problems and those of the world, in less than two hours, and we end up, as always, merely at the conclusion that a salmon sandwich and white wine on a balmy day in mid-July are as close to heaven as one gets in a besieged but still elegant city in North America. And as to the terror, well, we still feel it, and go about our business as if all were right with the world.

Monday, July 15, 2002

Grumpy, grumpy day. Lots of incompetent walkers bustling right through me—or they would have, had I not flattened myself against a convenient though hardly comfortable iron railing. Evil, evil sloppy walkers.

The only charm of this day was contained in the attire of a young girl, a blue-and-white flowered dress reminiscent of Delft china, worn over a pair of bright orange shorts. The color combinations of the young are so imaginative, so free.

And then a very tall very slim very smiling gay boy, whose demeanor clarified something for me about the stereotypical "gay male look." It’s not actually feminine, as taunting schoolboys have traditionally charged; rather, it’s an aura of being very aware of one’s own appearance and expecting to be appraised on it by others. In U.S. society as a whole, women more often wear that look than men do, but there’s nothing inherently "girly" about it.

One lone pigeon scuttling along dejectedly; her markings give the impression of having originally been a black pigeon who happened to roll in a pile of chalk. Speaking of which, there’s a new chalked-on street slogan, in handwritten all-caps: "I am trying to break your heart."