Wednesday, September 18, 2002

So wiped out I almost:

a) thought a fallen, trampled leaf was a squashed frog

b) walked into a tree—or was it a no parking sign?

c) missed the triple-decker array of discarded restaurant equipment standing in for nifty sculpture on Houston St.

d) watched a homeless man intently writing something on a piece of cardboard behind his wall of stuff piled on two canvas mail carts and thought, "At least he doesn’t have to drag himself three hours each way to a dreadful job every day. His job is wherever he is." Of course, his job is to beg for food from those who have other sorts of jobs, the ones that require business clothes, good hygiene, and pay in checks instead of small change. Stupid Valencia, do not envy the poor homeless man. He probably spends most of his day envying you, despite your awful job and lack of sleep.

And then there were the stick-thin chicks in red cowboy boots ostentatiously pouring Equal packets into cups of coffee in front of the pricey hair salon. I kept looking around for the camera crew—I was certain they were filming a commercial. It was that deft flick of the wrist to make sure the brand name was showing on the packets.

And then I was thinking: bike messengers are the only ones in the city who seem free. They wing through traffic like birds, and most of them are built birdlike, ready to take the air. But then I saw the chain around the cyclist’s waist (zoooom! There he went, as I looked with slow cow eyes) and remembered they only go so fast because they don’t get paid as much when they wait for red lights.
Pardon the sporadic nature of observations recently. Have moved into new abode and am up to proverbial neck in Still-Packed Boxes, Polyurethane, and Alarm Clocks of Doom. Why are they Of Doom, you ask? Because they trumpet that horrible sound, the sound that means it’s your turn at the electric chair, that there is no last-minute reprieve from linear time, that yes, you do in fact have to Get Up and Go to Work. And, having moved rather further away from my place of toil (in the interests of having a room of my own), I now must wake with the birds, yea, before the sun pokes its shiny nose over the horizon. Alas, alack, zzzzz.

Monday, September 16, 2002

Not a banner day in the annals of Valencia. It started with a 5:30am wake-up time, followed by a 6am bus ride, followed by a 45-minute wait to get into my office, effectively screwing up the whole "getting in early, leaving early" plan I had so carefully hatched to prevent me from having to come home at 8pm and fall into bed exhausted an hour later having neither eaten properly nor relaxed nor done any of the housework I have on my list.

I saw a lot of sleeping people on the bus—sadly, I was not one of them, being consistently unable to slumber on public transportation (not airplanes, not even trains). It’s always so odd to see assorted Masters of the Universe (both male and female) lying a-tilt with their expensive dentistry showing between their hanging jaws. Sometimes they look cute, like defanged mountain lions or grenades with the pins welded shut. Other times they look—I dunno—ugly. Not in the physical sense so much as being visible evidence of what’s wrong with a culture. We make people get up before their natural bedtime.

I am certain that if we could all just sleep to our bodies’ content, far fewer people would be in the mood to, say, shoot two others and then take their own lives, as someone did this morning in a Times Sq. office bldg.

I can tell you I was feeling pretty antisocial this morning as I leaned against the outside door of the office and waited. And waited. And waited.