From my window (1)

(image my own)

The street lamps look like they are spraying a fine mist as the cars rush past one way up the street below. Tent city to the right and left, in front of me the apartments on the richer side of the street.

Pedestrians do their chess board dance on the crosswalks. A dog looks left and right – the owner doesn’t bother, just puts foot on black top and then the other while the clever canine nervously scouts for danger. Make no mistake there is danger on these streets.

Change The World From Here! New Century! Civic pride flags flutter failing in the night air as a voice sings about numbness and I fall into an intense jealousy. I am made bold by this higher perch above the city swell.

I look down on the City from a crow’s nest perch of safety. The lights turn red as a boy runs up to the drivers’ window of a non descript mushroom colored car that has come up from the brighter side of town.

The usual exchange – money out, a small red balloon in a shaking hand. This guy looks nervous. I want to tell him to flush the damn stuff. I consider telling him to now roll away, buddy, get the fuck outta here, but he is taking his time, putting his shit away and the corner boy is looking dangerously nervous. I can hear his thoughts: “Is this a cop?” The nice car pulls away just in time, before I am caught watching some bad scene of nerves and guns.

Off he goes to heaven or to hell, to join the Jim Jims in this town in their dance or else to go make a fuss in a bathroom stall shouting as he sticks himself, just loud enough for his friends to hear.

When did the ‘heads get to pathetic? When did they get so performance-weak? It’s hardly Lou shooting himself up in the neck and coughing up a Quaalude in the best party trick ever.

I realize I am temporarily in love with a voice on the stereo and chide myself in my old age I have no right to feel this rush of lust for this chick and her Collings guitar. It is her passion and her anger which turns me on. I check myself laughing. I am not dead yet. What a fool am I!

I am old

I am old

I’ll wear the sleeves of my jean jacket rolled, but never the collar up.

The lights turn green and a convertible with the roof down rockets up the hill. I feel like a vampire latched onto a vein sucking the life dry from the sidewalks and the speeding engines. I have never felt so alone.

18 Comments

  1. ben Alexander

    Gorgeous writing. Gorgeous.

    Two things I would appreciate clarification on (if you don’t mind) –

    1)

    Jim Jims

    2)

    I feel like a vampire latched onto a vein sucking the life dry from the sidewalks and the speeding engines.

    1. The Paltry Sum

      Lou Reed decided that he would not use easily dated slang in his songs, so instead of calling people ‘cats’ or ‘dudes’ or whatever slang was around he made up his own slang in the song Heroin “All the Jim Jims in this town..”
      2) Fooling around with the mythos of Lilith being vampiric, and feeding off souls…I felt energized just watching life pass below in a parasitic kinda way.

      Hope you are staying safe, David. Thank you for saying hello. Always good to hear from you.

      1. The Paltry Sum

        I am persistently fascinated by Lou Rabinowitz – Did you know his grandparents fled antisemitism in Russia, then changed their name to “Reed”….Lou was a very interesting man.

      2. The Paltry Sum

        I am a mine of useless information. Lou said, I think to Lester Bangs, that (and I quote from memory, so forgive me) he was a Jew, but his real God was Rock and Roll. He visited Israel quite a few times, performing there, on his last visit apparently a progressive Rabbi showed him around Jerusalem. I hope Lou found some peace in the acceptance.

    1. The Paltry Sum

      San Francisco is a very vibrant city going through some really tough times, I won’t say it is a pleasure to write about, but it is at least a challenge. There is beauty in the dirt, I just wish it wasn’t so terrifying!

      1. The Paltry Sum

        I guess that is dependent on whether another man wants to chase me down a street while he calls me a ‘boy’ and threatens to push me into the road, and hit my son with his shoe. I guess that depends on whether men decide they want to slash me – like a woman got slashed in SF by a stranger yesterday. I guess it depends on men’s actions, if they LET ME FUCKING LIVE IN PEACE, because it is generally men.

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