You think girls like me grow on trees?
Headed Over Heeled
I wanted to print out for you the daily e-mail you can sign up to get from The Awl (dot com), because Choire seems to write these in a contemplative mode that scratches the itch of his ruminative self (you can switch “contemplative” and “ruminative” there and I don’t think it would matter), and he actually hit on a couple points I was pondering talking about this morning, in a contemplative, ruminative way…
There may or may not be a mystical component to this, but what I think about it, I don’t think it would matter.
Oh, good actual morning, dear reader!
Last night I was walking down Ninth Avenue from Co., the pizza place which inspires great amounts of hatred:
But despite those complaints, I think the pizza dough is maybe the best I’ve ever had. And yes indeed, it does have excellent “hole structure”!
Also they played one of the greatest songs in the world, which, when I hear it unexpectedly, can put me in a good mood for days on end.
1984 was a long time ago. Or: was it?
After dinner we walked down Ninth Avenue and turned east onto 20th. As usual, we were looking into people’s apartments and commenting loudly on their ceiling heights/tacky lamps/paintings/etc.
Immediately on our left, this older fellow was sitting on a stoop, having a cigarette.
"Looking for an apartment?" he asked.
This was so jarring, so out of place from the New York City that I have come to expect. I was reminded of the haphazard and thoughtless ease of real estate transactions in Mary Cantwell’s memoir, “Manhattan, When I Was Young.”
So we followed the big man, who was named Jimmy, upstairs. I was only half-convinced that we would be held captive and tortured; he looked slow, I figured I could take him. He extinguished his cigarette and saved the unsmoked half.
The apartment is a second-floor one-bedroom. It was of course terrible: depressingly ugly, with a shoe-horned kitchen alcove of the worst materials off the one main room, and then a small bedroom twice as tall as it is wide, a shape which always reminds me of a prison cell, and both rooms had the sort of paint job of once-vivid and now-sad and queer lady-colors always left behind by a fun young woman when she vacates an apartment for a better place in Brooklyn with a lover—or when she has gone home to Minnesota in defeat.
The apartment is $2100 a month. It formerly was $2500. The reduction leaves it still quite overpriced. And yet here we are. The clock has been turned back some number of decades! The rent is repealed; the tired old super is atop the stoop, hustling in strangers—at 10:30 at night—from the street to take a lease. When are we exactly? This something old is something new that is going on.
They don’t accept replies, so this is how I would have replied, had they:
1) I spent the better part of the late-80’s contending Talk Show was one of the ten greatest albums ever made. I gave it to a succession (two) of lovers to prove it. One was dumb enough to marry me. I don’t think it was because of the record, but, I have an ego.
2) I saw a sign on the way in this morning, at a mortuary, because I had to get off the expwy after some idiot jumped a concrete barrier in his car at 4 a.m. and got snapped in half by a train and people were hurt and as a result traffic was all fucked up and that guy who jumped the barrier better hope I never find out his name because my commute was a fucking BITCH.
And the sign said: “Recession headstone sale!! $450!!”
Anyway, I think these are comments about the irony of changing lives and possibly regressing worlds that may or may not be alluded to allusively in Choire’s post…but mainly I think they’re comments about me, so if you’re still reading this, click on the YouTube link to the “Head Over Heels” video and let’s pretend we’re married.