Wednesday, March 21, 2007

A Brooklynite's Daily Migration

I realized yesterday that my life moves in circles. I wake up everyday in Williamsburg to an apartment entirely empty but for a lazy and sometimes fractious Siamese cat. In these late-morning hours, I usually check my correspondence on the Interweb. Then I walk north-westerly to my own empty apartment in Greenpoint, where I have a late breakfast, check correspondence again, and then settle into my cozy armchair for a bout with Heidegger, or EB White, or whatever else I have on the docket. If things go well, the writings of a clear thinker will inspire me to some writing of my own; and if they don’t, I’ll listen to some public radio or perhaps play some music. Around 2pm, I’ll exit my apartment with a squash racquet and walk north, crossing the Pulaski Bridge into Queens. From there, I’ll catch the 7 train at Jackson Ave, which will travel west under the East River to Manhattan. On the Train, I’ll usually listen to Johnny Cash or Neil Young. I’ll detrain at Grand Central Station, that bloated, seething microcosm of our modern crisis, and walk north and west towards the 63rd street Y, where I’ll coach youths from Harlem at a wonderfully dizzying racquet sport someone once had the lopsided humor to name after an obscure gourd. When the spirited adolescents tire for the day and start their trek back to what one friend of mine (who lives there) calls “The Heights!”, I’ll spend thirty minutes climbing treadmill-stairs, traveling several miles without going an inch. I’ll shower, dress, and collect myself for my evening walk to the F train, usually in good humor, though sometimes my wet hair frustrates my efforts to comfortably wear an oversized pair of headphones. I’ll take the F train south, either straight to fourteenth street, where I’ll transfer to the L for the easterly trip home, or bypass fourteenth street entirely, en route to Manhattan’s lively and absorbing southern enclaves- East Village, Chinatown, or Lower East Side. Safely mired there for the evening, life becomes a simple matter of finding cheap and provocative entertainment to usher me through the early evening hours until such time as I’ve banked enough revelry to sustain me on the walk over the Williamsburg Bridge, or until the apartment in Williamsburg has been repopulated. Slow, lazy circles. Straight lines scare me these days.

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