Dedicated readers, all four of you, please accept my apology, although I never promised you consistency.
How OK I am with being inside worries me, albeit only slightly. In these forty-nine (?) days, I’ve read Marx and Tolstoy and Camus and Hesse and Flaubert. All great guys, really stand-up writers. But I started reading Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie two days ago, and now the thought of returning to Anna Karenina produces a sensation in me not unlike the one I feel when I think about cleaning out the shower drain.
Read the book, basically. It’s real good.
Other things I’ve been into:
- This Jeff Buckley cover of “I Know It’s Over.”
- Wondering what my life would have been like had I stayed in America.
- Wondering whether I could live in New York City without having a meltdown.
- Thinking about the past.
- Inexplicably, missing Greyhound buses.
- Thinking that education is really, really important.
- Feeling pessimistic and optimistic in the same breath.
- Herbal teas.
So that’s all I’ve got for today.
Happy Saturday, from me and my bed.
Last night I was riding up Ribera de Curtidores on a Mad Bici (not sponsored), feeling on top of the world. I was zooming past the Friday night drunks and just about ready to ride that bike to the top of my five flights of stairs, except that the bike weighs 200 kilos, and is not mine, so I left it at the station.
And then I checked my phone.
I had a new message from my mother, saying something along the lines of…
“Hello dear, I’m sorry to say that a bill for 900 dollars arrived to the house for you.”
To which I responded: “I REFUSE. I WILL NEVER COME BACK TO AMERICA AGAIN.”
900 dollars for a medical test that took all of 2 seconds and involved inserting a common q-tip into my vag.
Now that I’ve got your attention, I’d like to inform y’all that I’ve been on a big reading kick recently. Here’s what I’ve been getting into for the past 21 days:
- The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime
by Mark Haddon
Read on a Sunday afternoon, after a 5K. Heartwarming, eye-opening, easy-to-follow, and so on, and so forth.
- Breakfast at Tiffany’s
by Truman Capote
This short, seminal classic had me hooked and is perfect for morning metro rides. The word seminal sounds like it has something to do with semen and, after flipping through the dictionary, I realize that it can and does. Seminal (adj.): pertaining to, containing, or consisting of semen. Awesome! That’s a great segue into my next book….
- The Gene: An Intimate History
by Siddharta Mukherjee
Did you know that, for a time, the prevailing theory of genetics was called preformism? Scientists believed that semen contained tiny pre-formed humans that, once deposited into the uterus, would simply begin inflating into their mature form, a la Magic Grow Toys:
I happen to love scientific history and this book has me considering going back to school. 10/10!
Keep reading, keep biking.
New York City’s immensity is never more apparent than when navigating the thousand-lane road from JFK to Philadelphia, PA on a Saturday afternoon. Twenty-eight years of knowing the Northeast and I’m still shocked to find out that this airport is not, in fact, just across the road from Newark.
“Shit is entrenched,” says Scott.
Once passed the Holland tunnel and ten minutes of marveling at man’s ambition, the road is ours.
It’s good to be back.
At Heathrow, the Brits were on their best behavior, gifting smiles and biscuits.
At JFK, the line-master instructed:
“If ya customs form ain’t finished, get outta the line. Ya wasting peoples time.”
Any other welcome would have been a lie.
When my mother says “encounters” she is referring, of course, to sex. When she says “dresses” she is likely thinking about that Selena Gomez song that wouldn’t stop playing some two or three summers ago.
“People have always sung about that, though…”
“Yeah but today it’s stupid: ‘he’s so tall and handsome as hell,’” she gestures at the radio, “what the hell is that shit?”
She’s complaining about Taylor Swift now, whose song “Wildest Dreams” is playing in the car.
Whether I think Taylor’s art is revolutionary or enriching is irrelevant because creating music that underwhelms me—creating anything, really—is still way more than most people do. I’m not proud to admit it but I once sobbed in a Bed Bath & Beyond parking lot when the song “You Belong with Me” came on the radio. Then, dry heaves and all, I leaned on my steering wheel and started laughing (because first “heartbreaks” are fucking hilarious). It was a time when listening to anything other than pop trash probably would have made me roll off my roof.
Even so, you won’t find me arguing for the lyrical ingenuity or emotional depth of lines like “I can feel my heart, it’s beating in my chest.”
I skip the explanation and agree with my mother: “RIGHT? Like, what happened to Etta James? Let’s talk about ‘Damn Your Eyes.’ I mean, DAAAAAMMMMMNN!”
Now there’s an angry, lusty love that I can understand.
Be careful with ya eyes,