27 July 2007

The Hardest Thing about New York

The hardest thing about living in New York is not the exorbitant cost of living and it's not that it's so hard to meet people and it's not that there are no good men to be found and it's not that it's too easy to get side tracked from doing what you really want. It's the bums. They break my heart on a daily basis. Today when I was eating my $6 salad at Kenmare Square I saw two bums within the enclosure. Well, first I smelled one of them. One was sitting at a table, bent over, but not laying on the table, just sitting in his chair hunched over, I assume napping. The other was sitting by the fence. Eventually he lay down to sleep, nap, whatever. It kills me to see bums. They have nothing, no one, all they do is try to stay alive. Their aloneness is incomprehensible and crushing, like the weight of water 5000 feet under the sea. I want to hug them and tell them that someone cares and take them home and feed them and make them ok. It's nearly always old men. If they have family, the family doesn't care. They have no friends, no home, no one to speak to, no one to lament to, no one to go to for any level of comfort. They are alone in the truest sense of the word. And they are everywhere in New York. How does it come to this?? How does our society let it come to this? Something is very wrong when our kindred are left to live like this.

The book I recently finished, The Possibility of an Island, spoke quite nearly directly on this matter, the matter of old people being left behind. More the matter of the elderly being expendable. It was very Logan's Run, I think. How, after a certain age, people are useless, not worth worrying about. In this book, stories were told about elderly in nursing homes dying in droves due to extreme and willful neglect. Later, in the dystopian future, those of a certain age were forced to fight one another to remain alive within their tribe. A fight to the death. If they can't defend themselves, they should die. This is the sense I get when I look at these weakened older men who are fighting to remain alive, sleeping in the street during the day because what else is there to do when you're old and homeless?

11 July 2007

The Worst Book EVER

I had perhaps the most distasteful reading experience of my life quite recently. I only share it here so as to warn my friends against making the same painful mistake I did. After I read the last line I gaped at the book, said "Gah!", and threw it across the room as if it were burning my hands. It was that bad. If you know me at all then you know I have read a lot of damn books in my life, and this takes the cake as the biggest waste of a few hours of my life. The romance novel Sweet Temptation was far superior! I was tricked into buying this book. It's by a French author, which to me usually translates to literary magnificence. Not only that, but Milan Kundera himself spoke highly of the author in a quote on the back of the book! As I read it I just kept hoping it would get better around the next corner. There were minuscule instances of decent writing, but they were overshadowed by the horrible, corny, self righteous political bullshit on 98% of the pages.

I wish I could blame the translator, but I'm sadly certain it was the author who birthed such a literary travesty. It's like he had an idea (it was an interesting idea!), hacked at the idea for a few months, and shitted this out when he couldn't really figure out where to go with it. Maybe he was under pressure from his publisher? This was his tenth book, and the first translated into English, which is unfortunate for the author (and readers) because even if his prior works are magical they will probably not be translated at this point due to the horrendous first taste he's given us. Thank god I picked up another book (coincidentally by another French author- I can hardly put this one down) at the same time which I immediately started reading to get the bad taste out of my mouth. So please, for your own good, avoid
The Little Girl And the Cigarette by Benoit Duteurtre. Instead, pick up The Possibility of an Island by Michel Houellebecq.

09 July 2007

Stop! Hammer Time.

How in god's name did Hammer pants make a come back?? That has to be one of the very worst fashion moments in history, and bitches are wearing them left and right. They defeat the purposes of both skirts and shorts, which they seem to combine for no apparent reason. You don't get the benefit of a nice breeze up the skirt, not to mention the nice view. And you don't get the benefit of seeing the shapeliness of the ass/legs that you get with a good pair of tight shorts. They instantly transform otherwise hot, stylish girls into hideous, styleless beasts. Make it stop!!

06 July 2007

The Full Monty

I was going to tell a story about a Full Monty I witnessed last night, but something that happened on my way to work this morning reminded me of something that happened on the way home from work yesterday so I must first get those out of the way. They are blocking the naked guy story in my head.

This morning I was, as often I am, cat-called. At the point in my walk that it happened, on Broome around Mulberry, most of the guys are handymen of sorts: electricians, AC, plumbers, etc. Not Chinese frozen food delivery men as found on Broome around Eldridge. One of them said "Hey sexy, like your tattoo". How original! His friend, however, took it a step further. Saying "It's on FI-uhhh!!!". You know that band Electric Six? You know that song "Danger! High Voltage!"? You know how the singer says "Don't you wanna know how we keep starting fires?", but "fires" sounds like "fi-uhhs"? Well that's what it sounded like. Made me smile. Thanks, you chauvinist pricks!

Yesterday's walk home was arguably even more interesting. I was almost home- standing on the median in the middle of Allen at Broome- when I saw a man riding a bike northbound on Allen. It was a totally random, normal sight to see. He appeared to be a pretty regular looking guy. He crossed over from the northbound traffic side to the southbound side (I think). As he was passing by me he spit (spit!) in my direction, and laughed evilly. Why?? What did I do to deserve that? I was standing there so innocently! Just waiting for a green light to cross. No biggie. Just standing there. Not staring or anything, just looking around. And he spit. At me. ME.

So anyway, onto the grand finale. Last night after I got home from a meh date, I sat down next to my window to have a cigarette while I talked to Becky on the phone. I sit by my window frequently, even when a cigarette is not involved. I like to look out on the world. There's an apartment across the street that I can often see into, during the day and at night, whenever. A few days ago I saw a couple canoodling in there, but nothing hardcore. Last night, however, I got a bit of a show that made me wish I'd gotten home earlier. As I stared down the length of my cigarette while lighting it, my attention was drawn to the apartment. Their venetian blinds, though down all the way, were not shut. There was a woman in a slip or something sitting on a bed. In front of her, facing my direction, a man was standing, in the buff. I had to really stare for a moment to believe it. He was most certainly naked. They were talking. He was still naked. They kept talking. I kept watching. He adjusted himself. Finally he started to put clothes on. He got completely clothed, boxers, pants, shirt. I wondered if he didn't live there, if he just came over for a bit of the old in out. Then he changed, completely into another outfit, who knows why? All I know is that I missed the sex.