January 11th

I don’t want to write.

So with apologies to myself and forgiveness for myself

Maybe i won’t.

I won’t catalog the mundane and the malevolent, the execrable

and the sublime.

But you kind of have to catalog them. you have to be specific.

To be vague is to give you work to do. Tedious work at that.

I could tell you about the young woman and man who got into my car, and I gave them a ride.

To make them interesting you have to catalog particulars. To make an image.

Well I will tell you this. His orthodontist was his first girlfriend’s father. And he said “He knew my mouth better than she did” and it was funny and slightly off-color and slightly weird, and it feels weird to relate it here. So personal. And weird.

And I have different types of folks reading this — not too many of you — maybe 20 or so, but you are all different, and I wonder what you will think of me that I related this.

Or what you might think if I related what I really think, about this small inconsequential thing, and about bigger things which I think are consequential but might not be.

Anyway, well. There was a distance between them. A coolness, and she didn’t want there to be a coolness, but she was too cool to let it be known that she knew there was a coolness and that furthermore she didn’t like it. So she maintained the small icy chasm between them and so did he. But she wanted the chasm closed and he was fine with the chasm. And you wanted to tell her to save some time and ditch him, but of course that would have been inappropriate. “You can drop us by the mailbox,” she said with a slight icy remove, as they opened the doors to get out. So much icy remove in the car, and I was glad I wasn’t getting out with them. They didn’t tip. Few people tip, really. Least of all young people.

I’ve got my own icy remove in my own self. That cold locomotive waiting to be stoked. Sitting out in the desolate rail-yard. Gleaming in the moonlight.

Or maybe it’s a pilot light which has gone out.

Once in Brooklyn our pilot light went out in the winter and the house got very cold.

The landlady’s son, Dimitri, called me. Told me to grab a flashlight and walked me through turning the pilot light back on. It was touch and go but we got it to come on, and he cheered over the phone.

Dimitri could — can — fix anything — is an inventor and inveterate tinkerer. Fixing engines, air conditioners. A breeze-in-and-out-er. He breezed in, breezed out. He’s breezy and women like him. Everyone likes him. He called me J, which isn’t that unusual. He breezed in, cup of coffee in hand, at 2 am, said how’s it going J, breezed out. He was always driving his big Dodge Ram truck out to the Hamptons or up to the Catskills, or down to the coast of NC, as it happens.

My landlady has 4 sons, all of whom have (or had, as some of them are greying) dark wavy hair. They are Greek. They kind of look, more or less, like the actor John Cassavetes. Good-looking boys.

I occasionally got mistaken for one of them. “You one of Joanne’s boys?” “Nope, just a boarder.”

One of them has a girlfriend who used to date one of the the Ramones. Or maybe it was the bass player from Blondie. Whoops I can’t remember.

One of them is a restaurateur.

One of them works for the City Planning department, and

One of them is in finance.

Right before I moved, this last, Charles, said he’d always contemplated leaving NYC. “Good for you for having the guts to try living in different places. Maybe one day I’ll try to live somewhere else. But I can’t help staying put.”

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