Monday, November 23, 2009

Rainclouds and Cigarettes: Final Clarity in NYC


My head has cleared a bit today. Maybe it's the prospect of leaving this looming, grotesque city behind tomorrow that has offered some levity and comfort to my soul. I love New York, don't get me wrong, and I'll certainly be back, but these past three or four days have been the loneliest and most withering thus far. Tomorrow, we rocket out of the Boroughs and into parts unknown.

Spent the day wandering around the East Village, which may be my favorite place in the city, though there are still so many places I've yet to see. We visited the Joe Strummer memorial and I made sure to plant a kiss on his blessed forehead.

Drank with Irishmen, met Jesse Malin and a great old New Yorker named Wood or Fatman or something. He owned Otto's Shrunken Head, the bar we played at, and smelled sweetly of cigars. He had big Jew-frame glasses, a beard that seemed to naturally impart some sort of sympathetic and mystical wisdom, and walked with a cane. A jolly old-skool type, telling us wild stories about the Hell's Angels and bribing Coney Island parade judges and hanging out with the New York Dolls. "I'm the biggest nigger in this place," sez he.

Driving these streets, I can feel my hair turning gray. Stick to the middle lane while chaos reigns supreme on either side. Grinding lights, the strobe of faces.

Part of me feels this journal entry to be forced, as if my New York entries should've ended last night, at my wits' end and ready to sleepwalk all the way home. Maybe so, but what's done is done. I shan't write another word tonight, though there's scores more to be writ. I'll remember what I need to remember.

It's so good to see familiar faces and to witness a passing acquaintance possibly burgeoning into a lasting friendship, forged from heartache and happenstance. I am awash in the maelstrom of brick and noise. Sing me back home. Don't quit me yet. I'm going to read some Rimbaud and go to bed.

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