Today should be the first time since working here that I do not make the lunchtime sprint to check on the payphones and the LinkNYC machines around here. It’s been fun but for once I think I’ll take a normal one-hour breather like everyone else here.

Most people never leave this building, it seems, for the entirety of their shift. Good for them but I need air and for the blood to circulate.

Yesterday was my first long stramble in a while. I didn’t get the mileage but it was probably 6 or 7. Old Calvary I checked on not for any good reason except it was there.

Sometimes I feel the dirt and trees of that place embracing me. The cemetery itself savors me in its mouth. I feel its tongue and spit, tasting me, letting me melt just a little but never enough to cause physical or visible deformations. I am a piece of candy for the cemetery. A chew toy.

I felt that sensation yesterday, after checking on the 9/11 firefighters buried near the Champion Ash Trees. There is no sadness or portent, nor is there a feeling of dread. It is simple fact, a recognition not-so-tacit, that the river of life will some day flow out of me, into other atmospheres.

I will become dirt. I will be the soil that buries you.  Your nightmares of being buried alive are already populated by the sounds of me plopping onto your coffin. You might resist at first but the cold comfort of death will swallow you.

The destruction of the Dettinger marker was impressive. It had to have been the strong winds from the day before, which felled numerous normally-sturdy trash cans and possibly other monuments. This was no hurricane but the Dettinger marker looked like entropy had taken it over just enough to make it vulnerable to a strong wind.

Will it be restored? Will the Dettinger tomb rise again? Time may tell, or time may end before that question earns its answer.

Whilst making yesterday’s video I peppered one of my voicemail boxes with notes about the job I’ve held for about 2 months now. It seems so much longer than 2 months. Perhaps that profile is so monolithic on account of 20 years without clocking in or being on any kind of schedule. Or maybe it is the job itself. I don’t know.

Talked to someone today who lost everything, or so it seems. He never had state or city identification but his passport, EBT card, and Social Security card got him through the systems of life.

All those articles, these scraps of paper that carry the heart and soul of a person through the cobwebs of “the system,” all disappeared when he moved from one place to another. All he has left is his birth certificate. That’s not nothing but it’s not enough.

It can’t be as hard to restore this stuff as he made it sound, or as our resources here made it seem. I knew someone in a similar spot. He lost everything after buying  a condo. That process involved in person physical presentation of the Social Security card, passport, ID, maybe even college transcripts. Basically everything, from birth to the most recent proof of residency.

It all vanished after the purchase was completed (at least there was that). I don’t know how but he said it was tedious and time-consuming but he got everything back.

This person had a natural acumen about him, a natural intelligence and optimism. The person I talked to today seemed to have none of that, or very little.

It genuinely seems unfair that getting copies of these documents requires the paperwork that was lost. Can’t get a Social Security card without a passport or other ID. Can’t get a passport without a Social Security card or other form of ID.

This is, at least, the conclusions I reached today, with information at my disposal. I am required to stick to what we have here, not the open Internet or anything else. I could have better helped this individual with access to broader resource.

Or could I? What do I even know about anything…