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the thick now of modernity

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Modernity is the name that a culture gives to itself (its period as a metonym for itself as a whole) when it experiences the present thickly. It names itself in terms of an infinitely expandable, yet blank, present periodicity rather than any non-abstract referent.

Just how thick modernity is is captured elegantly by the appearance of phrases such as “post-modernity” or “late modernity,” which suggest a now so thick that it has phases or even outlives its own end. If something ended in order to give on to postmodernity, it is something not much more than the now that precedes our present even thicker now.

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March 28, 2011 at 12:29 pm

Posted in temporality

“the world is leaking”: a new temporality of disaster for a new decade

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True to his word, Giovanni Tiso has written an excellent post on the disaster in the Gulf of Mexico. Definitely go take a look…

I’m fascinated by the oil spill cam too, and like Giovanni said in my comments, there’s something mesmerizing about it, hypnotic. The Icelandic volcano seemed bent on introducing us to a new temporality of disaster for a new decade, replacing the shock and awe of telegenic terror attacks and rapidly escalating infection rates and (again telegenic) bombing raids, the tsunamis and earthquakes and hurricanes, that characterized the aughts with the awful banality of destructive persistence. But the gusher in the Gulf adjusts this new apocalyptic rhythm to the right physical scale.

Rather than the top of a mountain blowing off and then, surprisingly, causing real problems when it simply continues to smolder, we have a relatively small pipe at the bottom of the sea per-houring and per-minuting the Gulf toward total environmental collapse – and who knows what else.

I’m pretty immune to prophetic anthropomorphism, reading the palm lines of the image, and pathetic fallacy in general. I seriously mistrust Jamesonian acolytes for their tendency to just this sort of thing. (And that’s not the only faulty move I’m making in this post… Who gives a shit about “decades,” right?) There’s no Spielburgian divinity or Weltgeist storyboarding these things out to tell us something that we should already know… (Thankfully, really – we’ve got enough real problems to deal with without waking up to find a burning bush in the back garden etc) Being in England is only encouraging any I refute it thus-ism that was latently present in my makeup.

But on the other hand, it’s really, really hard not to read the whole world into and out of this one, hard not to take it as a sign of some sort that times have changed, and in particular not to anticipate lots more bad plumbing in the years to come….

(I should note – and not just here, but in an email to someone that I’m way overdue on – that Jonathan Lethem’s still newish Chronic City does a pretty good job of capturing this “new” temporality of disaster in narrative form…. I’ll try to say more about this when I’ve got more time, which has to happen sooner or later, right?)

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June 1, 2010 at 12:49 am

our daily bread: quotidian / epiousios

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From Jon Meacham’s review of Christianity: The First Three Thousand Years by Diarmaid MacCulloch in today’s NYTBR:

[I]n a wonderfully revealing insight of MacCulloch’s, that the “daily bread” for which countless Christians ask in the Lord’s Prayer is not what most people think it is, a humble plea for sustenance. “Daily” is the common translation of the Greek word epiousios, which in fact means “of extra substance” or “for the morrow.” As MacCulloch explains, epiousios “may point to the new time of the coming kingdom: there must be a new provision when God’s people are hungry in this new time — yet the provision for the morrow must come now, because the kingdom is about to arrive.” We are a long way from bedtime prayers here.

Wonderfully reminiscent of the strange dialectical temporalities at play in, say, Benjamin’s theses “On the Philosophy of History,” that. The ur-symbol of the quotidian is actually, when the translation engine is run in reverse, revealed to be shot through with a kind of post-redemptive future anteriority. Because of the imminence of redemption, we must start asking now for what we’ll need after the redemption. And we ask in terms derived from the needs that will be abolished with the redemption, because they are the only terms (and needs) that we know. Because of this, we modify these present terms with a single word that means at once of different substance and not now but very soon. Wonderful….

And more wonderful still: the fact that implicit in the entire complicated structure is the fact that with the arrival of the redemption comes not the abolition of needs but rather their metamorphosis and augmentation – perhaps even their drastic intensification…

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April 4, 2010 at 8:48 am

Posted in benjamin, temporality

“misjudged utility”: addiction and narrative

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Christopher Caldwell writes about on-line video games this week in his column in the Saturday FT. The piece takes as its occassion the following harrowing story:

Kim Yoo-chul and Choi Mi-sun had been on the run for months – allegedly for doing something unspeakable – when they were arrested last week in Gyeonggi province in South Korea. Mr Kim, 41, and Ms Choi, 25, were ardent internet users. They met online. They had a baby. But becoming parents did not temper their computer habit. They grew fascinated with an online game called Prius, which allowed them to raise a virtual “child” called Anima. In the interests of their virtual child they neglected their real one. Last September they returned from a 12-hour session at an internet café to find their baby dead of starvation.

Caldwell procedes to consider the reasons why such games are so addictive by seeing them through the lens of developments in video gambling:

If we consider the matter neurologically, raising a virtual baby can in some ways be more “rewarding” than raising a real baby. You get points. You get to undo your mistakes. Like art, video games can seem better than life.

The problem is that, unlike art, video games are increasingly sophisticated and subtle. A lot of recent academic research has focused on how video gambling machines take advantage of the predictable vulnerabilities of problem gamblers. Many non-gambling games are built the same way. They are designed to trick the reward centres of the brain through a variety of techniques: “near misses”, delayed rewards, illusions of control. In other words, they induce the same sort of misjudgment of utility that leads a crack addict to neglect his job. Designing machines to be pleasurable or useful is one thing – designing them to be addictive is quite another.

The phenomenology and false economies of the crack addict, yes, but also of the reader caught in the rhythms and deliberate temporalities of narrative. I am definitely not the first to see, say, in Flaubert’s Madame Bovary a performative diagnosis (even a deconstruction) of the relationship between the logic of addiction and narrative organization. But Caldwell’s piece (and other recent thoughts about parallel forms) leads me to think that perhaps the right way to conceive of the recent history of narrative is in terms of a split, a fissuring of narrative elements into two sectors.

On the one hand, new(ish) forms such as pornography, advertising, video games, and gambling, have taken up the neurological tricks long resident in narrative and brought them right to the profit-generating center of the works produced. On the other hand, literary modernism and its aftermath seems in this light a movement in fiction centered on the disavowal of the technologies of narrative addictiveness: a resistance to the traditional rhythms of plot is combined with a diminishment of the sense of authorial (and thus vicarious readerly) control. The phrase “misjudgment of utility” maps crookedly though provocatively onto, say, Adorno’s discussions of modernism’s uselessly utopian attempts at autonomy. Modernist fiction is that fiction that does not tease you into thinking that you can win. Which is of course better than video slots, but also… perhaps politically pernicious in a deeper sense.

At any rate, I am thinking this morning that I’m starting to understand a bit more clearly a turn that I’m taking in my own work. I’ve finished (though not yet sold – Christ is the process slow) a book about modernism and the temporality of its plots. And I keep telling everyone that I’m done with literature for awhile – that the next thing is going to be about stuff like education and advertising and pornography and the like. “Oh, so you’re going into ‘cultural studies’?” they ask with an unavoidable sneer. I am never sure what to say about that – it certainly doesn’t feel like that’s what I’m doing. “Cultural studies” is not quite right – maybe what I’m interested in is the persistence of narrative in a culture whose best literary works have long since disavowed it, the fault lines that run between this disavowal and the profit-driven enhancement of narrative in other forms.

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March 14, 2010 at 10:45 am

la jetée in starbucks, lukács on durée

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Lukács in The Theory of the Novel:

The greatest discrepancy between idea and reality [in the novel of romantic disillusionment] is time: the process of time as duration. The most profound and most humiliating impotence of subjectivity consists not so much in its hopeless struggle against the lack of idea in social forms and their human representatives, as in the fact that it cannot resist the sluggish, yet constant process of time; that it must slip down, slowly yet inexorably, from the peaks it has laboriously scaled; that time – that ungraspable, invisibly moving substance – gradually robs subjectivity of all its possessions and imperceptibly forces alien contents into it. That is why only the novel, the literary form of the transcendent homelessness of the idea, includes real time – Bergson’s durée – among its constitutive principles.

In Starbucks again, just about the same time as yesterday when I posted. There are American kids sitting across from me, Americans on their collegiate trip to Europe. He is trying to repair his rolling suitcase; the handle has come off and he’s bought some electrical tape.

The approximation of manhood, of male adulthood, that is taping a handle back to the place where it belongs, weaving the tape in and out into a silver X on a black bag, around and around and then giving it a strong tug to see if it will hold…. this is familiar. On our first trip to Europe, 1996, the key broke off in my luggage lock. We were staying in a shitty hotel on Rue Monsieur Le Prince, and I couldn’t think of the French word for hammer. Un mallet madame? Il faut que je utilise un mallet pour ouvrir le…. mon sac. She ignored us; I found a large stone in the Jardin du Luxembourg the next day and bashed the fucker open.

On our last trip to Europe before we had children, was it 2003, the wheel broke off my rolling bag as we made our way to the Earls Court Tube on our way to a flight to Ireland. My wife was to give a paper at a conference on television; I was to stalk around the city for several days and I did! But first, I had to purchase a new and incredibly expensive bag at the Left Luggage stall at Waterloo Station, a Left Luggage stall that I now see all the time while I stand around under the clock, waiting for my nights out to start.

What Lukács means to say, ultimately, maybe, is that you start by breaking your bag and then fixing it in Europe and you end by taking pictures of American kids whose bags are broken and then fixed. That’s just the sort of electrical tape that holds the thing together as a form. It’s bourgeois and subsumed with the melancholy of that class, its temporal dysfunction. And as such, like all bourgeois forms, especially the melancholic ones, it potentially repurposeable but only with great care and difficulty.

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July 30, 2009 at 11:55 am

Posted in novel, temporality

the politics of time

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I didn’t realize that Peter Osborne’s The Politics of Time is available on-line and in full. Shows how the world’s changed in only a few years. I heard about this book just as I was finishing my PhD not too many years ago, and checked it out of my university’s library. It was astoundingly good and helpful… The stuff on Heidegger and Benjamin, in particular, left a real mark on me and has influence my work significantly. But the problem was, back then as I was finishing up, that there was only one copy in our library and as soon as I would get my hands on it, it would get recalled. I hemmed and hawed because it was out of print, and the only copies on Amazon were selling for more than $100. Eventually, that’s just what I paid for it – and probably had it back in my hands too late to use it the way I needed to.

At my previous job, I insisted that my graduate seminar of 20+ students read it… Even if it was unlikely that all or any of them would be able to get their hands on copies. (I reproduced the last chapter for them…) Anyway, all of this would have been moot if it had been on-line as it is now. So, you know, obviously – go read! It’s free!

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July 9, 2009 at 2:28 pm

Posted in temporality, theory

the slowness of birth

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Like every other “life event,” giving birth has an odder temporality than one is led to expect by ambient cultural models, fiction and movies, and the like. Some of my favorite moments in fiction take up this issue – Emma Bovary’s death, which seems to go on for ever and ever, the slow starvation of Michael K. in Coetzee’s novel.

We’re used to laughing at Emma’s question: Et Emma cherchait à savoir ce que l’on entendait au juste dans la vie par les mots de félicité, de passion, et d’ivresse, qui lui avaient paru si beaux dans les livres. But then again, what words and abstract concepts mean in life is exactly what good novels, like the novel in which she lives, show. And what they show, again and again, is that above all else these things mean a particular way that time passes, generally more slowly than one would expect.

I spend my working life thinking ever more deeply into the following passage from Lukács Theory of the Novel:

The greatest discrepancy between idea and reality [in the novel of romantic disillusionment] is time: the process of time as duration. The most profound and most humiliating impotence of subjectivity consists not so much in its hopeless struggle against the lack of idea in social forms and their human representatives, as in the fact that it cannot resist the sluggish, yet constant process of time; that it must slip down, slowly yet inexorably, from the peaks it has laboriously scaled; that time – that ungraspable, invisibly moving substance – gradually robs subjectivity of all its possessions and imperceptibly forces alien contents into it. That is why only the novel, the literary form of the transcendent homelessness of the idea, includes real time – Bergson’s durée – among its constitutive principles.

I suppose what I should start saying when I say that I don’t believe in the event is that I do in fact believe in events, I just think that those events take time, sometimes astoundingly long periods of time. When I resist the im selben Augenblick temporality of certain strands of the analysis of the modern, this, at base, is what I’m talking about. I am not sure whether I learned to be this way from reading novels, or if I found in the novel a materialization of what I had always been thinking about, looking to think about.

And so here we are. The water (or as they say here, waters) broke last night, and we drove through the deserted streets of North London down to the hospital – a hospital that happens to be located exactly across the street from my place of work. The midwife checked – yes, the waters have broken. Everyone is healthy but no real contractions have started, and so we are sent home. We will return today if they start. Or, if not, we will return tomorrow morning to “be induced.” There was a little bed in the room, pictured above, waiting to catch what came.

This sort of thing happened the last time around too – “giving birth” spread into a two day process. But it still takes one by surprise, when it happens this way. I guess I’ll read the book that I am supposed to review today. If we’re not moving forward tonight, perhaps we’ll check into a hotel downtown, a hotel I pass every day on the way to the Underground, and wait through another night of slowly giving birth.

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April 20, 2009 at 10:45 am

Posted in novel, temporality

diary: on growing up

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1. Not many years ago, I think when I was living in the city where the plane just crashed, I remember reading one of those “diaries” in the London Review of Books. I can’t remember who wrote it, or even what it was about. It might have been about a soccer tournament, the World Cup, the European championships. What I do remember is a single image deployed offhandedly in the course of the piece. The author referenced sitting in his garden behind his house in London. The imaged barbed me, or I hooked the image, and it came with me wherever I went for a few days or weeks. If I could just have that. If I could be the sort of person who sits in his garden in London. Who comes in from the garden to watch a soccer game, or type away at an article for the LRB while sitting in my garden behind my house in London.

It was an outrageous thing to think at the time. I was doing my damndest just to get back to where I had just come from – New York, Brooklyn. I very nearly applied for a 4-5 at John Jay. I spent my nights looking up recruiters for posh high schools, those who would adore a CV like mine.

I am not in my garden at the moment. My back is to it, as I am sitting at my kitchen table. It is too dark to see through the window. But if it weren’t I’d see an overgrown mess of dead vines and piles of leaves on the ground. There is a dilapidated shed in the back left corner and my daughter’s playhouse in the back right corner. There is a table near the window where sometimes I work in the summer, but not often enough.

Rarely in life does one get the opportunity so directly to fulfil such an outlandish fantasy. But I suppose I did, didn’t I. I don’t write for the LRB, but I imagine one day I’ll get my shot, as I’m sort of tracked for it my virtue of my current position. And then I will type whatever I type there in the garden or in my office in Bloomsbury or at a coffeehouse on Tottenham Court Road or one of the libraries nearby.

2. An American journal arrived in the mail yesterday, not an academic journal but a creatively oriented one. I bought an early issue the year before last because I was taken with the cover art, and since then the thing seems to have come up in the world, is full of the work of relatively famous writers. This issue includes two poems by one of my best friends, a guy who I lived basically next door to (if the picture above was of the backyards behind my Brooklyn brownstone rather than the gardens of North London terraced houses, his window would have been the one on the first floor (that’s second floor for americans) of the third house from the left – the window obscured by the tree, which his was when leaves were in season.

You cannot see his apartment in this picture of the garden at the back of that apartment.

He still lives in Brooklyn, though he moved a few blocks away after I left to a new place with an additional bedroom. I have moved to two different cities, three houses and a flat, in the 3.5 years since I left New York. He has a daughter and another daughter on the way. I have a daughter and another daughter on the way.

We are still in touch, of course, in that intermittent way that one is with close friends during busy years and from far away. The three of them came up to visit us where we were last, spent several days. It was wonderful, just like old times except with kids! And now we routinely end our emails back and forth with something that goes like a tragedy that the girls are not growing up together! Can you imagine what that would be like? What friends they would be and become?

Today I read the poems in the journal. They are excellent. Perfect. I will write him tomorrow and say so. The best work I’ve seen of his since back there in Brooklyn. But they are also different. It’s hard to say just how, but not that hard. Whereas, in the old days, his work was exuberant and musical, these are pensive and quite melancholic. It is strange hearing news from a friend via poems in an airmailed journal.

3. Looking through the stack of iPhoto pictures for an image of that old Brooklyn garden makes my heart drop. Predictably, but it does. Jesus, my wife and I look young! And different in other ways as well!

4. My wife and I had a babysitter tonight, so we went downtown to the area that extends south from the British Museum. We go there quite a lot. The LRB Bookshop is a draw, as we like to look at tables of books, we always have. I bought a collection of short stories; she bought a new issue of a journal that publishes writing like her own. We had Thai food and talked about our work, what the devastation of the publishing industry might mean for her just about completed project, and what it might mean for those that I am about to revise again or those that I am just about to begin. We talk about childcare – whether I should talk to one of my soon to be unemployed students about living with us, watching the kids. And then we go to a pub at the corner, a pub it seems I’ve been to before (“how did you know there’s an upstairs and where it is”), where I have a pint and she has a coke. It is noisy as there is a football game on the TV. And then we head home. It is 6:30 when we leave.

The more interesting conversation – I wish I had a transcript of it, actually – took place in the Piccadilly Line on the way to our bookshop and restaurant and pub. I mentioned the poems, and the tone of the poems, and the subject matter. We wondered aloud about what it might mean. “They were very close, very very close, like us, like we were. Intimates, really. Not all couples are like that. It’s probably hard for them in just the same way.” I can’t remember who said what. The last time she saw him, which was more recently that I have seen him, he seemed melancholic, yes – “melancholic or depressed a bit like you can be.”

As we walked up the stairs toward the Russell Square tube stop elevators, I say that melancholia, that obsolescent term, might be the proper name of that middle place between depression and normal where the work gets done. She agrees, somehow, my wife, but I can’t remember how she said it or indicated it.

5. At some point in the course of these conversations I reminisce about the practice that said poet and I had, toward the end of my time in Brooklyn, of taking off early from work at home whenever we could, at 3 PM or 4 PM and heading out to the Brooklyn Inn to drink and play pool until our wives came home from work and stopped off to meet us there.

The Brooklyn Inn might just be my favorite bar in the entire world. The following picture is not mine.

We would play pool and drink Stella Artois for hours on end. Every so often he would go and put a song on the jukebox, sometimes inappropriate stuff that would get him yelled at by the hipsters who used the place as well. You had to buy tokens from the bar staff for the table, and if some other group took their turn with the table we would stand in the area of the table staring at them as they played, which usually kept the interruption to a single game.

We were fairly evenly matched, so the games were always competitive. And we would, as a rule, buy a new pint for each other with the start of each new game.

I can’t remember when exactly this run at the Brooklyn Inn happened, but from what I can remember by the end neither of our wives were drinking the cider anymore as both of them were pregnant.

6. There is an article in yesterday’s Times (the UK one, not the NYT) about Joan Bakewell, who has just put out a novel at the age of 75. A few months ago, around Christmas, you might remember that I read Harold Pinter’s Betrayal in a single sitting at a Barnes and Noble in Florida the day after its author died.  Well, Joan Bakewell is the model for the female lead in that play.

For all her achievements, her first-class mind, her groundbreaking role as one of TV’s first women presenters on Late Night Line-Up – interrogating Vaclav Havel or Allen Ginsberg in skirts so short no serious presenter could get away with them today – what will guarantee her immortality is her seven-year affair with Harold Pinter, thinly disguised in his play Betrayal. There is a photograph taken while she interviewed him. He – saturnine, intense – leans foward, while her body language opens to receive him. Both are smoking. As Bakewell’s agent remarked, it is a very sexy picture. How well did they know each other then? “Pretty well,” she says and chuckles dirtily. I might have guessed: it was at the height of their affair.

Nothing in her autobiography, The Centre of the Bed, is so vivid as the passages about Pinter. Her memories vibrate on the page: the green velvet frock that she wore when they first met, the flaking paint on the park bench when they first touched, a snatched day in Paris. She recalls Pinter’s wife Vivien Merchant, her “self-contained and proprietorial pride” with a snippy mistress’s envy: “I didn’t know then she was an actress but I might have guessed.”


And now Pinter is dead and while Bakewell has declined all offers to write about him, it is clear he still burns in her heart. She says: “Even within recent years, he’d sometimes say, ‘We had a good time, didn’t we?’” She adds, emphatically, as if he’s in the room right now. “‘Yes we certainly did!’ And it was very nice, and then we’d smile.”

They continued to meet over the years. “We were distant, married to other people, in different worlds, but we just kept an eye on what each other was up to.” They had lunch about two months before he died and spoke on the phone a few weeks later. Her eyes are filling when she says, “I don’t want to talk any more about it, except to say it does linger, it was very good and I was shocked by his death even though I knew he was dying.”

Ugh, the prose! Still, something about this, hard to say what. Something about the penultimate paragraph. Something to remember when one day I am writing a post (!) called “diary: on growing old.” Something about that last lunch, that last phone call, and what she says about it all.

No time to make this into a post on Betrayal, but for now… the author of the piece in the Times says the following:

The Betrayal of the title is not adultery, but the dishonesty between the two men. Michael and Harold were friends (but not as close as the men in the play): Pinter was incandescent at being deceived.

But that’s not even half of it. Set aside the circumstances of the described relationship. The real bazzlement of the play, the thing that makes it “incandescent” (urg) is the almost inevitable betrayal that comes of living in time. If anything seems to amaze Pinter in this work, it is that something can be something, that strongly, and then years can pass, and it can turn into something else. What’s worse, whatever happens doesn’t happen dramatic, epiphanical, but through a slow fizzle, a running out. This is closer to what grabs me about those last paragraphs above.

7. At the LRB Bookshop, I almost bought, but did not buy, Iain Sinclair’s new Hackney: That Rose-Red Empire. It looks too long to read, I have no time to read even the shortest of books, and this one is 480 pages long. I picked it up in the store to show my wife and said as I did, See, I would buy this and read it tonight if it were 150 pages long instead of what it is. (She responded that I could read a single street, as part of it is organized by streets, in the book if I wanted that length, and she was right…. I have time to read two or three streets).

Hackney, as I’ve said aloud but not on here, has strange associations for me. Clear cut but I can’t explain. Despite the fact that I wish I lived there a few years ago, perhaps during the years when I was playing pool at the Brooklyn Inn, I actually never want to visit it ever, even though I likely already have. Sorry, cryptic, I know.

But this book, and Iain Sinclair, were on my mind as we discussed, at the Thai restaurant, one of our perpetual themes: the difference between London and New York as work environments, writing environments. It’s not how we put it at the moment, but the appropriate takeaway from our discussion is that London is a more middle-aged city for writers than New York is. This is a good thing. NYC always wants the kid of the moment, the explosive aspirant who moves over 16 months from n+1 to the NYRB to the NYTimes Magazine to Harper’s or the Atlantic for a permanent gig. The median age for launch seems to be about 26. My wife in fact was, I think, one of those explosive aspirants for a few months in 2004 – the months just before and just after we conceived our first child, and months when we would have calls from editors at Random House on our answering machine when we came home from Thai. She was 27, 28 at the time. We worried ourselves to death when we were living there. With London, on the other hand, it feels like everyone writing is 42 or 52 and just making it, sending their kids to state school and relying on the NHS to treat the early or late symptoms of something. People seem to have time for tennis on Saturdays with other moderately successful types. They seem to stay for another drink at the pub near closing whereas in New York the promising who wish to capitalize on their promise have long since gone home to tap away at something other than a blog.

Luckily, there are no jobs anymore, so there is no job-application anxiety. We are staying here; there is no possibility of moving. And though it’s incredibly lonely here, unspeakably lonely for Americans, I, in the end, can’t even for a second imagine leaving. Even to Brooklyn. For I am middle-aged, at the start of it, and so is she.

8. I look a lot older than I did a few years ago. It stuns me that it finally happened, as I have been babyfaced for a long long time. Carded for cigarettes and booze, at thirty. But now, at thirty-two, I am starting to look my age. I don’t shave as I should, as all of my male colleagues do every morning from what I can tell. And because I don’t shave I get to examine my beard-hairs in the mirror. A few weeks ago, I noticed a strange white hair, a stray albino, on my chin. I was looking today and now there are four or five of them. Salt and pepper. I am not too worried, as I think I am one of those men that gets more attractive as I age. My father did, and now here I go. I think I am more attractive now, despite the lapse of the babyface and the aesthetic intervention of stress and longer hours and harder living, than I was before, and will be more so and more so probably for the next twenty someodd years.

Poor women. It all heads in the other direction starting just about now. At least some of the time, and in some ways, and in the eyes of some.

But there is a tightness in my chest that lingers. I tell no one about this tightness. I smoke and drink and I’m bringing it all on myself, I know. Some have pains in their side, I have a tightness in my chest, sometimes a deep pain in my left lung. My father’s father died young, and died from the effects of booze and smoke. When I lapse from health – probably not soon, but when I do – people will whisper “he brought it on himself. You know how he was.” And they will be right. They will say as they walk up the stairs at Finsbury Park or Bergen Street, “But you know how he lived.” And they will be right.

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February 16, 2009 at 12:25 am