Sunday, November 19, 2017

This Week In Not Surfing

1. For my 43rd birthday I make time for one of the only other pastimes for which I attempt to make time. Besides surfing. The Russian banya. On a mid-November Tuesday afternoon there is a small group of Scandinavian women, a couple single Russians, a quiet gaggle of Hasidic men and a loud group of Financial District business guys. There is also an immensely beautiful and statuesque Black woman wearing a very skimpy bikini.

2. And the middle aged businessmen in the shvitz talk openly, brazenly, about hookers and cocaine and "Christmas Binges." This is a true story. At a certain point one tells the others about being so congested during last year's holiday debauch he was shoving little "boulders of blow" into his nasal cavity and "waiting for them to dissolve."

3. I wonder if the magically obstructive alchemy that is my self-doubt and impatience will ever let me write anything other than this. As was once said, "consistency in style can be important for confidence in production but can lead to insecurity through the gift shop."

4. My wife gives me a tall bottle of mezcal and three slim books for my birthday. Lydia Davis, Maggie Nelson and Wallace Shawn. I am sure I'll never get out of this alive.

5. And while I continue to believe that a concerted discipline to free associate is at the core of most successful endeavors, I miss the now entirely unlikely possibility that I might find a still-smoldering cigarette butt in my french fries.

6. And I wonder if the intellectual laziness that overcomes me in times of emotional trauma will ever release me from its grip. As was once said, "truth is like an invisible object of which we can only make out the edges when we blow smoke its direction."

7.  New York's latest flirtation with something more sustainable has come in the form of a small, brown, plastic waste bin one is supposed to fill with one's composty stuff. The New York Times has referred to it as a "plastic totem," which seems likely given the city's ability to make lasting, positive environmental change. All I know is that I get a truly serene amount of satisfaction from hauling the little bucket out from under the sink and throwing orange peels, egg shells and onion ends into the tiny pungent heap.

8. Today it is so windy in Brooklyn that an adult London Plane tree is cracked, leaving half lying across the walking-path next to the dog-run in the park across the street from my house. I don't think there are any other casualties.

9. The surf forecast two days ago stated that tomorrow New Jersey might be pushing 5-7 feet with ambivalently equivocal winds. A look at that same report tonight predicts it will be flat. New York metropolitan surfing at its finest.

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