Tuesday, May 7, 2013

In The Chalk Circle, Part 2

Tuesday, September 8, 2007
1:45—WSQ—In the west end of the park, on a bench facing the chess circle.
The last days of the Old Fountain. The whole east side of the park is closed off for the renovation—its all fenced-off, and torn-up.

Everything will be ripped out: fountain, monuments, chess circle, and all the odd little corners and eccentric spaces that gave the park its character. To be replaced by what, exactly?
There are some kind of nasty chemical fumes blowing in from the west end of the park—getting sick and I gotta move on—but to where?

Re-located to a another bench up on the north end, but the fumes are still swirling around—too much poison over here—damn them and their f*cking “renovation”! My scalp is even itching—a sure sign of poisoning!

Wednesday, March 9, 2010
12:00—Battery Park—On a bench facing the Hudson
Opposite the old Colgate Clock across the foaming river. Gray haze and thin yellow sunlight illuminates the harbor. 


I hadda flee WSQ! It’s a total toxic disaster inside and out—dust, chemical fumes, debris, and the clang & clatter of heavy machinery all around! The dreaded renovation is in full swing. My battered immune system can’t handle the pollution. They’re destroying the park—half of it is closed off—everything is ripped up! The fountain has been moved so that it lines up with the arch! Why on earth did they need to do that? Why did they have to re-design it—why couldn’t they just leave it alone? That’s supposed to be my hangout—my home away from home—and now it’s ruined forever! Damn them!

Thursday, March 10, 2010
2:12—In Ostropoler’s on Avenue J [Now gone and I can find no trace of it anywhere! It must have been there since 1950—at least!]
Wedged into a narrow booth way in the back of this old-style cafeteria. Strange layout to the place—I can make no sense of it. Ancient, filthy... noisy... tumultuous... and the absurd notion that I am not wanted in here... that I shouldn’t be here... a mistake... but still, it reminds me of a certain period of my life back in the early 1960’s somehow... elusive...
Just ordered scrambled eggs & home-fries.
Poison hangover. Listless, paranoid, wobbly, and dispirited—have I left anything out? 

Something has gone wrong with my order—where the hell is it? I’ve been here 25 minutes already—I fear that the waitress has it in for me for unknown reasons. It’s sickening in here! I have a craving for a late breakfast, but there isn’t a decent diner within ten f*cking miles! Why is that?
And now it appears that my last month’s rent is in arrears! At least that’s what it said on the ticket that they stuck on my door!
Where is my damn order?

12:35—Jeezus, what hell: even worse than that Mexican joint yesterday!
And there are screaming brats climbing all over the place. I feel that my mission to get breakfast has totally failed!
Gotta get out of here right now!

12:43—Leaning on a parking meter across the street from that hell-hole. I feel compelled to make a journal entry right here on the damn street amid traffic fumes, screeching brakes and assorted stares from the passersby. Gotta finish this book right here and now! I can’t wait and let it drag on.
I think that I should go into the city. I am quite ill and hung-over from yesterday’s poisonings! Gotta simply get out of town! For the rest of the day, anyway! I wanna take a fresh book with me into the city and attempt some writing.

One and a half pages to go in this suffering tome! Lord!
It’s fairly warm in the sun, if a bit breezy.
There are pains in my stomach that concern and worry me.
On the corner of Avenue J and East 13th street. 

The intersection of Dross and Dram! Whaat?

I am oppressed by memories that I don’t have—of an Avenue J that I’ve never seen before, as hopeless storefronts stretch though this turmoil.

The psychic debris of an avenue...

I’ve made up my mind: I’m heading into the city forthwith! K will understand.
The whole block-long string of cars is honking their horns! This is sheer hell!
My head is all jammed-up. I pray for success this week with my exploratory efforts at getting some kind of help/compensation/etc. My brain is clouded by poison/fear/aggregate-conglomerate!

12:54—Staggered under the weight of a dozen or more atmospheres—Orthodox tumult surrounds me!

Journal #51 staggers into oblivion—another hell-book mercifully done with and thrown on the slag-heap with the rest of them!
I give thanks for all my blessings! And they are many!
I conclude this book on a note of gratefulness and optimism!
Amen and goodbye to Book #51!

/// supernatural fiction ///  Washington Square Park /// lucid dreaming


  1. “I am oppressed by memories that I don’t have”. Like a line from The Book of Disquiet. the whole piece also reminiscent of Roquentin, in Sartre’s La Nausée. But apart from the literary comparisons, your reader hopes things have improved since then.

    I too find that most of my favourite places get bulldozed. Promiscuously, I discover there’s no limit, in this beautiful world, to how many new favourite places one can discover; how many favourite pens one can lose; how many rare and precious photos and notebooks can be lost forever; or even discarded by some catastrophic misjudgement.

    Life is loss. Yesterday is gone forever. So is this morning. A new day is given. I recommend Annie Dillard, For the Time Being. Wrote lots of notes for a review: don't know if I'll work it up to a proper piece. You could get it from a library.

    1. Hi Vincent, thanks for stopping by again.
      As a 30-year resident of Manhattan's East Village, I have witnessed the all but complete destruction of a once great city at the hands of the "developers" and the unspeakably corrupt local politicians. Yes, I have "accepted" it—we have no choice—but I still feel compelled to howl in pain and protest each time the wrecker's ball smashes into yet another wonderful and irreplaceable old building. And I speak here only of architecture—the fact that an entire class of people have been driven out is another story altogether. The onslaught is relentless!
      But I will check out Anne Dillard's book!
      Beautiful rainstorm here in N.Y. as I type...

  2. . . . and this font is even better than the last.

    1. "FELL Double Pica"— gives an antique look to the text

  3. ... apart from the italic, which is just a sloping version of the Regular.

    1. I agree—the ital is a problem—I may have to research that. Caslon might be a better choice