Thursday, December 24, 2020

Notes

Journal Excerpts

1

I'm open and fragile this morning. I've nearly cried twice on my commute--while walking to the train in Queens and seeing the face of the sunlit, brick building behind the passing elevated train as Neil Young's "Harvest Moon" played over my earphones, and then while exiting the underground when Leonard Cohen's "Famous Blue Raincoat" (The line: "New York is cold, but I like where I'm living") lead me back into the early morning sunlight.

Sobriety is funny. I feel less sober with my emotions somehow; maybe I'm more tender, maybe I'm really feeling some emotions for the first time in a while.

2

Ecclesiastes 7:3-4

Sorrow is better than laughter:
for by sadness of the countenance
the heart is made better.

The heart of the wise is in the house
of mourning; but the heart of fools 
is in the house of mirth.

3

Just caught my reflection while looking out the window--hands together at the fingertips and thumbs under chin. I felt like a poser, sitting over an open journal and latte at a French bistro. I can't help but be myself, and I'm always self conscious of being me. I don't want to appear to be an affected artist. Ugh. This fucking dialogue has persisted since I was a teenager, and my self effacing has hindered me as much as my self aggrandizing.

That's me. I'll accept it now and will have to do it again in the near future. We can't escape ourselves, and if we do, we lose sanity.

4

I'm at New York City Bagel and Coffee House and annoyed by these twenty-something girls' giggling and talking as if they knew something, but they're just talking about school days, lame jobs, and boys. I haven't looked at them, but their voices are cute. Their pronunciation is good, no affected vocal fry, no click-ish speech patterns, no excessive uses of "like" as filler. Wait, disregard that one. In an attempt at being kind after belittling them, I went too far.

Now I'm getting kicked off the sidewalk because the cafe is closing.

5

In the cool of the morning, I stepped onto the street after little but enough sleep. The sun had just broken the horizon and lit the building windows orange. Clumsy waking neighbors trailed their eager dogs with bags of shit. An infant strapped to her mother's shoulder slept while the woman waddled, happy to be outside for the first time in days.

After miles of walking past deli-store owners smoking cigars, garbage men trailing the truck, sleek sweating joggers, an older woman confused by her coffee order at the bodega, a young late-night partier sleeping it off in evening dress in the street, I thought, "How lovely this mad, beautiful, silly city.”


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