I’m on the Acela back to Boston. We just passed a beach full of people in Rhode Island. Or maybe it’s still Connecticut. Which reminded me to stop thinking about work and start thinking about Matt Shaw’s upcoming wedding! I have not sung him and Patsy the wedding week song yet!!! Glaring oversight!!! Hopefully Terri is, right now, as I write, renting a convertible.
Anyway, Matt Shaw, and Patsy,
Wedding week, Wedding week!
Wedding week, Wedding week.
You are getting married…
I sort of love Times Square. I mean, I don’t love it like I want to live there, or I want to work there, or that I wouldn’t rather stay in some other part of Manhattan when I’m in town. But I’m glad that a place like it exists in the world, and I’m happy to partake of its almost neurologically-altering flash in small cautious doses, much as the tourist to Amsterdam might smoke some hash in a coffee shop or the tourist to Prague might partake of absinthe. It’s like being physically dipped in pure electronic media. (Albeit old electronic media, as even the computer generated displays are non-interactive). Didn’t Marshall McLuhan say something about the electric light bulb being the purest form of media?
So, there are a couple of Times Square billboards that caught my eye.
First, doesn’t it look like these holy warriors are worshipping Christiane Amanpour? And like she is sort of their priestess, smiling coolly in acceptance of their adoration?
Second, doesn’t it look like Justin Timberlake is dancing with some sort of electronic uterus?
“Sandra, what are the chances my daughter is pregnant?” the manager at “Kerbooz”, the bar in Penn Station where I had lunch since the Acela Express was 30 minutes late.
“Did you hear Phil Rizzuto died?” (same manager).
“Who’s Phil Rizzuto?” (same Sandra, behind the bar).
“I am not talking to you for the rest of the day. He’s dead so it doesn’t matter.” Pause. Manager visibly tries to stop talking to Sandra, and can’t contain himself. “He was a great Yankee. A great American. And I would say a great broadcaster.”
The manager walked into the kitchen.
“A great spokesman for The Money Store,” (me, not quite fast or jackassy enough to say it before the manager was out of earshot).
Blank look from Sandra, probably too young to remember those 80′s UHF-TV station ads for sub-prime personal loans.
Construction worker on a cell phone: “I got my hearing tomorrow. Yeah, I get to find out what they’re going to do to me. LIKE I FUCKING CARE.”
You know that plot thread (such as it is) in Lost In Translation where Scarlett Johansen stubs her toe in her Tokyo hotel and after a few days it starts to turn black? That’s sort of what happened to me Sunday night, not long after I posted my dispatch.
The Comfort Inn near Times Square* gives the impression of once having been a nice-ish hotel in the early 20th century, a pretty seedy hotel 30-40 years ago, and now a Comfort Inn: it has narrow halls, small rooms, and a decorated but worn marble back staircase. I decided I needed some ice, and the only machine was in the basement. I took the stairs, and on the way up, tripped over one of those lovely but worn marble staircases, and somehow managed to — please stop reading if you’re squeamish– nearly fall in such a way that I broke off part of my toenail and sheared off the very tip of my toe with it.
Shooting, shooting pain. At first I thought it was broken (not merely bleeding). Yesterday I decided it wasn’t. Today I’m again not entirely sure that it’s not. It is still grotesquely black and blue. It has stopped filling my socks with blood. That is a good start. Wearing dress shoes (comfortable ones, but still) my first day in the new office was probably a bad idea, “good impressions” be damned. Yesterday and today it was left foot dress shoe, right foot gauze bandage, tape, black sock, sandal. (Had I not been wearing sandals when I fell, none of this would have happened).
*not my choice! I think all concerned (mostly me) would have preferred to be closer to the HQ office of my new company and much further from Times Square.