At the 175th Street A train station yesterday. It used to be my everyday station. 30 years ago, I think. I was surprised at how the station looks exactly the same today as I remember it all those years ago. The same yellowish curd-textured grime on the walls, like it has not changed on fleck of itself. I had to check my belly to see if it was still there, or if it had reverted to its falttened state of 1992 when I was so skinny I sometimes heard gasps when I entered a room.
I had earlier crossed the High Bridge, which I think starts around 170th Street in Manhattan. I guess I am a veteran of that bridge now, this being my second trek. Fourth, I guess, if you count the return walk as an individual crossing. I thought I would journey farther into the Bronx side of the bridge but it did not look as easy as I thought to get to the next set of bridges uptown. So I whimped out and went back Manhattan-ward, walking up Amsterdam Avenue to 181st Street, simply for the sake of being surrounded by as much 181-ness as could likely be found in Manhattan.
I’ve considered requesting a small miracle. I’d like my old 181 PO Box back. It makes as little sense now as when I decided to get rid of it. Logistically I can only get to it once a week. The hours of access are very limited, and the price just kept going up and up as if I was getting an increasingly better deal on the thing, as if its value was osmehow increasing when it was not
Walking 181st Street to Broadway I turned left, toward 175th, forgetting that the 175th Street A station is not on Broadway but whatever the next street one block west is. I found the elevator at 177th Street, too tired from the day’s sun and walking to brave the stairs. I jokingly thought that it would be a drag if the elevator spontaneously imploded, crushing me to death in one millisecond. It is interessting how that incident captured the popular imagination while the boatload of Greek migrants saw barely a trickle of discussion. That is simply how news floats. A small airplane crash in a remote country will almost always make headlines because commercial aviation remains a fascination for people. Planes falling from the sky is a common phobia, I suspect. I don’t know this, I’m just rambling.
I came to work armed with a new apple stem. In my first weeks here I stuck apple stems in little crevices of the desks at which I sat, certain those stems would stay in place forever. So far, they have, though my placement of one stem on a non-desk surface did not survive. I don’t even buy the apples. I just rip them from the apples at the Jubilee store on Gold and John, the intersection near where my stripper-ex-gf lived in the months before and after 9/11.
I have not placed a new apple stem in a while because I have not found a suitable nook or cranny into which I can slip it in and let it hide in plain sight. It is a harmless prank. It’s not like the stems will grow or multiply. They are dead as freshly-cut fingernails.
Yesterday’s excusrion over the High Bridge revealed an utter swarm of spotted lanternflies. They seem more varied this year, with smaller flies with bright red spots. They look poisonous but no guidance has suggested they are. They were crawling all over the metal railings, leaving me to ask why they left all the trees and vegetation alone. I stomped a few but it seemed futile given the quantity of these pests.
Last year a huge swarm of the lanternflies descended on the Oculus, a giant white vagina-shaped sculpture by the Trade Center. Why would they be attracted to that sterile, non-vegetative sculpture? They were everywhere around Lower Manhattan for a number of weeks. By comparison I’ve barely seen any this year, until yesterday.
On 181st Street I was near my old apartment, where I have to believe my former roommate still lives. I checked on that a few years ago and found that yes, indeed, that dude still lives there 30 years on, having already been there 5 or 6 years when I made my brief passage through there. I paid $240/month for a room in a 3-bedroom. A sweet deal even in 1991 standards but it really was not worth it. Noise and nuisance.
I don’t have anything else to say, except that of course I have plenty more to say. I am here earlier than usual. I was hoping to tell my one friend here the news that I’m finally moving on to another division at this company, this place, this workplace. 6 months after they told me I’d start in 2 weeks I finally start training for the new project. I came dangerously close to quitting, thinking this move was never actually going to happen. But I stayed. I took a deep breath and realized I’d certainly regret leaving this place.. It’s a good place to work. If you do the work and mind your own business it’s a good place to be. I’ve not become privy to any gossip, none to speak of at least. I overhear people say someone got fired but I never know who or why. There is one dude I sit near who seems like a model worker. But when he was out for 2 days straight I assumed he got whacked. Alas, he just took a couple of days off. I’ve been here about a year and a half and am yet to take more than 3 consecutive days off.