I’ve been here about 3 months now, in the belly of the beast. Lower Manhattan. I spend my days talking to New York. I did not expect to fall in love with this job but that seems to be what has happened.

My plan had been to make this a 6-month gig. If I’m still saying “just 6 more months” in 6 years I’d be OK with it, at least I think at this present time that I’d be OK with it. 

It’s like I’ve reverted to my Apology Line roots, where Margo once described as one who “keeps the world at a discrete distance.” I seem to remember her meaning that this “discrete distance” was maintained thanks to the telephone. Reverted? Maybe I’ve always been this way. A friend once commented that she thinks I spend my life on the phone. That’s not really true. In fact I hate long conversations with people I know. But this isn’t that, and that isn’t this. 

My accountant hailed my new life. He said “Stay on the phone, Mark. Stay on the phone.”

I get scored and QA’d. I don’t even care. My relationship with this job most likely differs from that of anyone else here. I hear poetry and texture in the sounds of the voices, the ambiance of their situation. I say “Speak to me your agonies, your troubles. I have a keyword for that.”

It’s going to be a ratty summer. Word from Middle VIllage is they’re stampeding in the streets. I’ve seen them in Astoria. One dude in the Bronx described his kitchen cabinets, nailed and taped and glued shut, teeming inside with rats. They circulate through holes in the wall. It could only be a matter of time before his kitchen is enveloped by ratgasm.