Today felt accomplishful. I listened back to some recordings I forgot all about. It’s from February 20, the day I walked to the Unisphere and back, a trek which must rank among my most epic. At a certain point it felt like I was abusing myself, as I now recall from listening to the tracks. But I was only walking, not pushing myself.
The recordings were meant to be a walk-and-talk podcast/blog kind of thing, unscripted, and some of it actually works. In one segment I talk about the biggest and best dumps I’ve taken in New York, a subject that arose after getting lucky as hell in finding an open shitter at Flushing Meadows during the winter (hah, believe it or not I don’t think I made the “Flushing” connection until now). That was humorful but could have gone longer. I did not even think to recall the Mt. Everest of my dumpage at the old Coliseum DIner when it was on Columbus Circle, back in 1990 or 1991.
Conversation with a Japanese friend has, somehow inevitably, turned to the subject of suicide. The older I get the less I can handle the subject matter, even the word feels like a knife. sui = self. cide = murder. Or something like that. It sounds like it should be a fun word, like MUDSLIDE or JOY RIDE. In fact when I was in school there was fun drink we wanna-be alcoholics concocted, named “The Suicide”. All it was was half Coke and half Sprite. But we used that word like it was something fun, half sticking our tongues out to elide the “cide” part of the word.
In its meaning the word is too tight for me. It’s like it eats itself, or strangles itself with artificially concocted poisons.
I was thinking of Bourdain again, curious to know if toxicology or whatnot turns up anything that could be interpreted as an “explanation”, or something that could make sense of what he did. I remember after 9/11, when it was all still so confusing to me, and someone mentioned that Al Qaida and the terrorists in particular did acid in the Afghan desert. I took that to mean that maybe they were on acid when they flew those planes into those buildings, and for the few seconds that this seemed possible the events of 9/11 finally made sense to me. In a similar spirit I remember when John (or somebody) told me that two shots had been fired in my father’s death. For a few morbidly hopeful moments I thought it might have been possible that he had been murdered, and that suicide had not once again stained the family tree. But mere seconds passed before the obvious conclusion arose, that he only fired the first shot to make sure the gun worked. Then I further recalled that I am almost sociopathic in my indifference to my family tree or lineage, suicides and all. Hope is like an unexpected orgasm, rising up in ways that go counter to everything you are.
The conversation with the Japanese friend turned to God, religion, and me talking like Billy Fucking Graham about how God is not in control of anything that happens here, and thus It is neither to be praised nor blamed for everyday achievements or benchmark traumas. She said my father’s death would be considered honorable in Japan, something I more or less knew about the Japanese. Then she went on to describe how her father-in-law basically announced the time and place of his self-inflicted death, from drowning in a bathtub. In this country it is not out of the question that even joking about offing yourself could have you institutionalized. America is like that in strange ways. You don’t have to actually do something or even attempt to do it to get in trouble for it. Plotting to murder somebody without doing it can get you sent away. Threatening to kill the President will get you a knock on the door from the Secret Service. Finding ways to steal satellite TV signals, without actually doing it, will get you slapped with financial penalties that will probably follow you the rest of your life. Maybe other countries are like this? I don’t know. Canada makes a lot of sense sometimes.
This was a long day at the helm of my new radio empire, which seems more and more promising any time I delve into it. But I feel unrested, even though I woke up early as hell. But most times I wake up early like that I glumly say to myself, “It’s just more time to waste.”