Saturday, November 4, 2017

This Week In Not Surfing

1. Commercial airline travel always begins with the same things. Second guessing the luggage weight. An anxiety filled car ride. Splurging at an unimaginatively stocked airport chain bookstore. Fear of the automatic flushing toilets. Awkward queuing. The middle and end experiences of commercial airline travel vary more widely but will surely entail uncomfortably spiking body heat. 

2. Francis, the pink and blonde shop boy, explains for glasses to fit properly they ought to reveal the wearer’s brows mostly unobstructed. This is dependent on the proper width of the bridge and the forgiving length of the temple. Here I can think of an implicit joke.   

3. Have I spoken of my distaste for the flagrant practice of showcasing mid-coifed clientele in large storefront windows of hair salons? Like specimens in some sort of wacky performance art meets ghoulish science experiment gone embarrassingly inchoate? It’s true, the sight of someone having their wet hair yanked this way and that, exposing their state of undoneness for all to witness fills me with disgust. Brazen co-optive marketing at the expense of dignity. 

4. Six days after Jeremy receives a text apparently mistaking him for another Jeremy where he is propositioned to drive to 'Jersey because the texter has "heard it's pumping," I arrive at his doorstep in Clerkenwell. Jeremy shows me this mis-targeted text and I conjecture that it may indeed be meant for another Jeremy I know who happens to live in the same building in Brooklyn where this Jeremy, standing here in front of me, also has a routinely vacant apartment. That other Jeremy also lives part time in the building, the other part on Kauai. And he surfs. This Jeremy here lives the other part of his time in London and does not. I wonder if the mistaken texter has entered this Jeremy's name into his phone mixing the two up based on a shared address. This would explain a lot.

5. Jeremy says free will is the location on our tongue where we taste time. 

6. There are moments that occur to me. The moment I want more yogurt than granola in my bowl. The moment the weather changes and my ankle hurts less than it did. These are little mile markers of advancing age. 

7. I go to the Basquiat show at the Barbican. I see an old friend in two polaroids encased in glass. I stand in line behind two French women bent on listening to the full 22 minutes of outtakes from a Warhol/Basquiat T.V. show. They can feel my looming over them, impatient. I wonder if I look like Trump looming over Clinton in that one debate. I'm not sure I can help how I may look and feel.

8. But I feel like a real New Yorker at a Basquiat show in London.

9. The American in his black t-shirt, black cardigan, stiff jeans and well-worn Stan Smiths has been on his feet for twenty minutes, pacing as he talks on a cell-phone conference call in the powder blue Australian cafe. At the end he says "brilliant" then "lovely" then "cheers" then hangs up and goes straight to the bathroom, leaving his aging golden retriever waiting beneath his table. In the bathroom there is a hidden mirror in a slim cupboard opposite the toilet. I suppose this is in case you'd like to observe yourself going to the bathroom.

10. Antonio texts to see if I'd like to surf together this week.

11. We run into our friend on the sidewalk who is going to the introductory night for a later sex party night. She says she's going to accompany a friend who actually is looking to be accepted to the sex night, but feels insecure going alone. Try-outs for an impending orgy, in other words. Two nights later I ask her about the experience. She says it was certainly odd and she left early but with a certain esteem for the people who could feel so brazen and fulfilled in their desires.

12. People in London walk terribly on sidewalks. All over the place. Higgledy-piggledy.

13. When I hear an English accent I think of violence and intelligence and dry, sometimes annoyingly effete humor.

14. While in London I have two surfing dreams, neither of which contain surfing. In one I am on a playground filled with all sorts of metal monkey bars jutting out in opportune angles. I swing around them all, hopping weightlessly from set to set, spinning and twisting. In the other, my eleven year old son and I are in a grocery store on a cruise ship dancing in a kind of intuitive Bob Fosse way through the aisles, clapping our hands and snapping our fingers.

15. On the flight to London, my seat-back screen breaks, leaving me with no choice but to watch the latest installment of "Planet of the Apes."

16. I meet a Danish-French photographer at a cafe on Portobello Road. We find we have many mutual friends and a copacetic misunderstanding of the mysteries of being 20th Century men in a 21st Century world. I mention surfing to illustrate video communication.

17. While walking in Notting Hill some friends from Brooklyn text and ask me for advice about surfing on Kauai. I refer them to that other Jeremy. In four conversations I have with introduced strangers in London surfing comes up as a short-lived topic.

18. I have a seat next to a window on my flight back to New York. I've been on flights where the attendants have asked everyone to close the plastic pull-down shades. This never fails to upset me but I can see why they ask. Keeping the glare off video screens. Allowing people the choice to sleep. But I love the light without exception. I love, at least, the open windows without exception.

19. There are many evenings when my wife asks me to keep the window near my side of the bed open. This can be slightly annoying as it will cause uneven breezes to flit across my face all night.

20. One thing I’d like the one-minute-younger me to remember to say to the one-minute-older me: stop trying so hard to be heard. I wish that one-minute-older me would stick around long enough to remind the one-minute-from-now me of that wisdom.

21. This past week at different moments, both in his apartment, Jeremy twice spontaneously adopts a sort of cockeyed old-timey persona and states in a drawl, "You've got two ears and one mouth! Use them proportionately."


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Julien said...
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