Think about every lesson you've learned so far in life, from the little ones like how to not eat so quickly that you bite down on the fork while chewing or how to not get shampoo in your eyes while showering and why it's a good idea to stand back from the curb on a rainy day to the larger ones about when to listen and when to talk or why it's sometimes easier to sacrifice something you're not fully passionate about so that you can make your stand on a more important issue later or how everyone else is pretty much as scared and stupid and just trying [...]
I cannot tell you the saddest story I know, because it was passed along to me by someone who is under the obligation of professional ethics to not share it for publication. But, in a larger sense, I can of course tell you the saddest story I know: It is yours. Oh, sure, you can pretend that I don't know you that well, but, really, you're not that special. You're just like the rest of us. Your life is wracked with recrimination and regret, and even in those rare moments when you can somehow convince yourself that you are mostly a good person, you know that you are only [...]
Union Square's sad transformation into Times Square proceeds apace: Construction to turn the former Zen Palate space into a TGI Friday's is in full swing, while uptown barbecue chain Brother Jimmy's has already opened and is happy offering sustenance to suit-wearing douchebags for whom the cuisine of Heartland Brewery is a bit too "ethnic" or "challenging." If you stand on the corner of 16th and Union Square East, you will find yourself victimized by the cruel tyranny of choice: Which of the two equidistant glazed dough providers wares will pad your colon, Tim Horton's or Dunkin Donuts?
Life is a tedious dialog in which Death always has the final word, but much of the small talk in between concerns the weather. The next few days will be grey and dull, which is both seasonally and emotionally appropriate. Consider the age: certitudes dashed, confidence destroyed, ideals gladly forsaken for the cheap illusion of compromise in which the only winners are those who have already been rewarded with the greatest benefit. Consider the mood: mental and physical cruelties inflicted on the most vulnerable without remorse, anger and cynicism wrapped so tightly together that they become indistinguishable from each other, loneliness and despair so pervasive that they have [...]
You may be tempted, particularly with the lovely spell of weather we'll have over the next few days, to believe that everything is going to work out. That, not only have you gotten away with it, you've deserved to get away with it. I understand. Warm temperatures, the coming of spring, the slight hope that maybe the economy is turning around, the idea that after a certain point things can't get any worse and thus must get better: these are all reasons for optimism. Do not be fooled. No one ever gets away with it, we deserve nothing, the weather will grow cold again, whatever recovery we have will [...]
The lady at my liquor store is a delightful woman in her mid-fifties who always beams brightly and is never particularly concerned about whether or not you've got exact change.
I was down there just now and it was pretty crowded for the middle of a Thursday afternoon. (The fact that I know the retail patterns of liquor stores in the middle of a Thursday afternoon is an entirely different matter.)
"You're busy," I said to her.