Recently, while running along the path on the West Side Highway, I was passed by a biker who yelled at me in a very snotty, exasperated tone: "You're in the bike laaaane." Admittedly, this was true, but it was during the middle of the day around Houston Street, where there was no other bike traffic and I was keeping very far to the right, pretty much hugging the part of the path that is inhospitable to bikes. She had plenty of room to pass and was just making a point because I guess it makes her angry in principle and she doesn't have enough to worry about. Moreover, I was hardly the only runner; more 'serious' runners (like me, ahem) tend to do this in order to avoid having to weave through the crowds that congregate closer to the river and navigate the uneven terrain of the parking lots in front of the piers. Not that I was able to explain any of this to the biker; nor could I explain how idiotic and really kind of 'gated community' it was to be complaining about bike-lane etiquette in a part of the city that, until maybe fifteen years ago, was known for sex and drugs and probably some bad things too. I should mention here that I've never been very good at 'comebacks'; my usual reaction is not to say anything until the moment passes, after which I'll obsess about it for a few days. Like in June when I was running past a different group of frat boys who were fratboyishly clogging up the entire path and a different biker -- an older man riding a bike with a flower basket -- passed them and said that they were in the way, after which they yelled "nice basket, faggot" and I wanted to rip their heads off, because anyone who uses that kind of language deserves to have their heads ripped off, especially in the West Village. But I didn't say anything, because I've learned that it's best not to get involved. Except this time, regarding this second biker who chided me, without a second thought I just yelled back at her: "So are youuuuuu," which even in retrospect seems like the perfect response because it wasn't mean or vicious but made her look a little ridiculous and devoid of bike-path/serious-runner empathy, and moreover -- because there's always an audience in New York -- made a group of people nearby laugh, which made me feel like a real standup comedian for the first (and probably last) time in my life. Plus I knew she heard me because she held up her leather-covered fist on her way to presumably yelling at her next runner.
It was a small but perfect moment, in other words, that made me think that it was probably time to leave New York, because I had finally achieved what I had come here to do, at least artistically. And also unconsciously, because at no point until last week did I ever say to myself, "you will go to the city and live there until, after many decades, you manage to effectively 'win' (but not really) one meaningless encounter in the street."
Not that I have any plans to leave any time soon, and you can see how I obsess about stupid things way after the fact. I mean, I wonder if she's blogging about me right now in the same way I'm blogging about her. What's certain is that she'll now appear as a potential contact/'connection' on LinkedIn, which is secretly the saddest of all social media, because it makes you think about large swaths of your past that you would rather forget and will never have any relevance to your present.
Meanwhile, the streets of Tribeca remained stoic and expensive. In gardening news, the toad lily bloomed, even after we moved it. In cat news, Clio stopped wanting it 24/7, which was a relief to everyone. We also installed new pheromone dispensers that make everyone totally high calm people down. "omg yugys i'm ss0ooo0 WasTed' -- Zephyr The clematis smelled faintly of vanilla. (Not really, but supposedly.) Here's a picture of me sitting at the table with Stephen. "Ho ho ho." -- Dante Somehow the variegated leaves (intensely fragile) survived the heat. While others demanded A.C. With an infinite number of prayers, only some can be answered.