August 09, 2001

Part of this malaise is just not having any discretionary income. It makes me blind to the joys of life. The best things in life may be free, but for some reason, that's easiest experienced with a jingle in your pocket.The few times I've felt optimistic in the past few weeks, I treat myself to something that used to be commonplace. I bought a pastry about a week and a half ago to have with my coffee. I yearn for some salsa and olive oil. Wondering why I hadn't been to any free concerts this summer; Central Park, Prospect Park, Battery Park... my mind made an immediate jump to an iced cappucino, made with coffee ice cream. I used to get a few at Veniero's every summer when it was this hot and still. Iced tea with mint and lemon. tea bags are actually on the "splurge" list. Ice cream even more so. When every forseeable piece of income is for overdue bills, I wear blinders. But with five dollars to spend, I wander in used bookstores, CD shops, look at the end-of-season sales racks. I usually don't buy anything, but knowing I could makes me rich.

Walking home from a yoga class that it was very difficult to make myself go to and oh so good that I did, I saw one of the best photographs (not taken) I ever have. I don't usually walk around with a cinematographer's eye. But this sort of was obvious in that it was a man taking a picture. In a free parking spot in a line of cars, a dead pigeon lay against the curb in the street. Perfect sacrificial dove pose, on back with head twisted up. A few feet away was parked a bright yellow Ducati. Perpendicular to the curb and flush to the bumper of a shiny SUV. On the sidewalk was a small parking regulations sign, and a rolling office chair. Slightly more in the foreground was a tired-looking spindly tree in its two square-foot allotment of dry packed dirt. The photographer was a skinny guy, utterly focused. He bent at the waist over the pigeon. He wore a green button-down shirt with the sleves rolled up, black jeans, a newsboy cap, and extremely pointy-toed black shoes. It was in looking back on the diagonal, amazingly neither traffic nor pedestrians, on the right the black iron fence of the Marble Cemetery, broad deserted pavement, and a diagonal of tree, sign, chair, stooping figure in green, and yellow motorcycle. It was perfectly composed; linear and organic, an urban still life.

Saturday morning, trying to remember that group that had that video where they dressed in white on a beach and had crosses with the fat guy. One lyric on their album mentions Christina Applegate. I wonder how it feels to be trapped in the cultural amber of a song. Walking an hour later, behind me two men; one telling the other about the lame aftermath of his hot date. "So then she has like five names and try to take her to lunch and she's all mysterious and I'm like who needs this shit. Had a tattoo on her ass "Toby" saw it when I was bangin her." This stops being picturesque at this point, so I slow down to let them pass. "mumble mumble Christina Applegate" says the second guy. btw, it's PM Dawn.

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