Morning. My oldest uncle died in the night. Times Square survived. I realize I have forgotten my father’s birthday.
My roommate is watching a daytime talk show. The topic is paternity testing. A young girl is on the panel along with two men she has slept with. The moderator asks her questions and learns that the girl broke up with her boyfriend, then slept with another man when she was seven months pregnant, then took up sleeping with her old boyfriend again. She is matter-of-fact and dignified, but it sounds terrible. As I listen to it I realize that it is not so different from my life but for the detail that I do not have any children.
Get mugged in subway. A kid punches me in the chest and tears the strap off my nice red handbag but doesn’t get my money. I run out to a deli and call the police, and they show up right away and then some plainclothes guy radios in that they’d found a “possible perp” who fits my description, sitting in the subway waiting for the train, and it is the kid. One of the officers drives me to work in the squad car.
I see a plainclothes guy and an officer lock eyes in the Hoyt-Schermerhorn subway tunnel, then look away. Realize that the police are what hold this town together.
Realize I am not working on the review not because I am lazy, but because I don’t like writing reviews.
Realize that when I am drunk I walk longer and faster than I do sober.
Attend dinner party. R. is there and I realize I am in love with him. Realize social obligations are good for eruptions of pure bitterness and, later, art.
Write to my cousin in Albuquerque. Coffee high lasts less than two hours, I might have another. Realize reading Bernhard has programmed me to write run-ons.
Vivid dream of playing a violin that I now realize was tuned incorrectly.
While teaching a friend the relative probabilities, realize I am good at dice.
Go to the record store and the man behind the counter recommends several records. Realize I don’t need to date a musician in order to hear new music, although now want to start dating man behind counter.
In the invitation to join the university club they write of a burgeoning number of special interest groups — “with such varied focuses as bridge, foreign language, Shakespeare, history, and the concerns of working mothers (to name but a few of the more than 50 that are currently active).” Dues, fees, and dinners add up to a couple grand a year. Why did I never realize until now that college is finishing school for bond traders?
N. says I have strong opinions. Later I realize he means I am judgmental.
Realize I overuse the word/concept “now.”
Realize I should quit my job. Migraine magically disappears. Tell my mother about my great day and she says she had a great day, too, on account of having bought a Dedham Pottery candle snuffer.
When I think about high school, I realize how close death is, and how sad that no one will ever really know how sweet my adolescent misery was.
Realize aesthetic, personality, and work are all driven by need for controlled feelings of helplessness.