Yesterday, as with most days, I started writing a bit of whatever, some mental detritus from the pulpit of solitude, when somehow it all vanished. Several sentences of carefully planned, thought-out, pre-chewed then reverse-digested to articulata… Stuff like that is not supposed to unrecoverably vanish in this year 2023 but that is what happened. Control-Z was not the savior, nor was the alleged automatic backups, which were not automatic at all.
The title reflects how I was feeling yesterday, just in general. For some reason the day started with a feeling that every word would start with a tellingly misplaced letter. I spoke of being drenched by rain, but instead it came out as being frenched by the rain. Or rather, that is how the day felt it would proceed. With typos changing the meanings of my thoughts in ways that could not be reversed.
The disappearance of all that text, then, is perhaps another symptom of this intefectual malaise.
Someone, whose identity is now known, jumped into the north reflecting pool at the World Trade Center on Monday. If I had seen it in person I might have thrown up. The video alone is seared into my mind. Man lying face down in a pool of his blood, plunging into the “central void” as it’s somewhat weirdly called. He is now revealed to be schizophrenic and seriously disturbed, a product of being unable to get any kind of care from New York City or anyone else. The family pointed to migrants getting free room and board and health insurance while New Yorkers like this man are routinely turned away by Health & Hospitals.
Will this act, the first of its kind at the WTC memorial, force owners to wrap the reflecting pool in chain linked fences and barbed wire to prevent further incidents? Or, to maintain aesthetics, will they instead deploy an invisible force field that electrocutes anyone whose body enters the space just beyond the surface with the names engraved upon?
I, for one, cannot lie. I don’t think I ever approached the precipice (if I can call it that) of the pools without feeling a ghastly uplift, a feeling that inevitably a stiff breeze would lift me from the ground and set me sailing into the void. I always approach the memorial thinking how easy it would be to just climb up and jump in. It’s not a high enough plunge for death to be certain unless one had a plan.
If any attempt to barricade the memorial to prevent future incidents like this is deployed, perhaps it will follow the model set by the George Washington Bridge. That walkway was wrapped in netting to prevent jumpers, from what is among the most popular destinations for jumpers in this region. It has not stopped the attempts. One incident was reported just last week, even, reminding us that if every suicide attempt or success was reported in the media the public would think suicide is an epidemic. And they would be right.
I must interrupt this reverie with observations concerning a…. oh never mind. She must be harmless, but it’s unnerving to see someone behaving erratically here in the company break room. She was singing to herself, walking very slowly, and now she set up her coffee and breakfast in one of the conference rooms, which no one is supposed to use without a reservation. An odd-seeming individual in a place where there are some characters but not seemingly derelict eccentrics.
I found an insect on one of my breakfast strawberries yesterday. It was icky but not surprising. In fact I had been waiting for it. I inspect every strawberry before biting into it, a ritual that probably earns me a reputation of some sort among silent observers. But some of them are moldy, others just gross. But the insect, whatever species it was, was no surprise to me. These containers of strawberries have holes in them, and they are set out in open-air locations right on Broadway in Astoria. There is no reason to think bugs would not be drawn. I blew it off the strawberry, onto the floor, and gave it the spotted lanternfly treatment.
I finally have a huge umbrella. I think it is 53 inches across, but compact in size when folded up. I got it for $15, a steep discount because I used accumulated reward points and gift cards. Let it rain this weekend. I am, for once, ready for it. This is essentially the first time I’ve paid cash money for an umbrella that cost more than $1.
I might need an extra dose of anxiety med today.
There, I took it.