October 4, 2002 (#31), (and before ...)

My my, I've gone all semiannual or rather sesti-monthly.

How are you my little collard greens? It's all about bitterness lately. Martha's bitter. Dick's bitter. George would be bitter if he knew what it was. Ken is bitter. Al is bitter. Cokie is real bitter and so is Maureen which I never quite figured out.

And then, mix some bourbon, soda, add a sugar cube, garnish and a dash of me, old fashioned!

It's the neighbors below. Cackling all the time on their terrace which of course I am just lucky enough to hear as if there were sitting in my very own living room. And the 'lady' of the house... gracious me. If only she understood that she who laughs loudest is not as amusing or interesting as she assumes herself to be.

But, my leafy swiss chards, the tragedy is that it's all over-compensation for which I am being punished dearly. However, I do have such a nice view, that I hate to move. I just try and go to that special place...

Kill her? Mother... no... I couldn't do that....

Trips, who's been taking trips? It's all about saving money. I'm considering driving about these great United States of America avoiding what there is to see. I'll start out small - New York to South Carolina for Christmas. Christmas in the Carolinas...,

and Trudy....,

and a bodyguard.

Oh wait, broccoli rabettes, that's right. I went to Seattle and went cross country skiing to a yurt which was at the time being occupied by an earlier group of skiers from the local children's shelter. We got along famously, kindred spirits and loose morals, you know. Then a trip to Houston to watch my dear sweet little niece graduate from her Catholic all girls school ("as Christian women..." sayeth the nuns raising these models of piety). Are Catholics Christian - or are we beyond all that now? Then a trip to Catalina island - the back side, as I have little time now for the frozen banana treat and golf cart world of Avalon. Cape Cod, but then again don't we all.

And then back to New York City. Manhattan. It's charm. It's glamour. It's heady atmosphere. The greatest city in the world, as some would say.


I've been wondering,

is it true?

Are those inhabitants of New York City simply deluding themselves (ourselves)? I often think that we grasp on to the notion that we live at the pinnacle of urban environments simply because were we ever to actually open our eyes around us it would simply be too depressing for words. People on the street, living spaces the size of hamster cages that are the cost of mansions. Noise. Oh, and more noise. Not ever really knowing your neighbors because you actually know too much about them already since you live next to/above/below them separated by a very thin partition that lets all sorts of noises and smells through.

And what, of contemplating emigration? Ask one of these great New Yorkers about living somewhere else. "Oh, I couldn't possibly." Is it that they are unable to conceive of a life where you can't walk to a deli or is it that they are terrified of leaving their thrill a minute bubble? You have to fight banality everywhere else, but in the Emerald City, you get lazy about it.

Emerald City. A city whose main inhabitant came from somewhere else, re-invented himself as someone fabulous, but all based on smoke and mirrors. Tragic only in that the moral is if you get caught, you have to go home. No wonder we are delusional.

But, I adore it. Why? Why listen to my theatrical neighbors? Why use garbage pickup as my alarm clock? Why spend more on food, housing, clothing than necessary? Simply for a good selection of foreign films?

I do love traveling, but I love coming home. But to be fair, no matter where I've lived I've adored it.

Well that's not exactly true. But I did adore Los Angeles and Paris.

Here's to more frequent gatherings,