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September 2006 Archives

September 5, 2006

it's the little things

For dinner tonight, I went to Cambridge One with three goals in mind. Pizza (and breadsticks), definitely. I was also thinking of trying to read a book I've been trying to get through, or (least likely) see if I could get onto the wireless network at the Starbucks next door. This last is something I've been meaning to try for a long time, the idea being that it'd be swell to watch some football at the bar and do a little of the 'net surfing.

There were three seats left at the far (kitchen) end of the bar, so I took one, leaving two (together!--I am nothing if not considerate) available, ordered a beer and a pizza (half No. 2) and started reading. At length, and before the pizza arrived, the couple to my left departed, leaving 2 seats. Immediately after that, a trio showed up: one guy in a Pan Mass Challenge hat, a woman (non-descript), and a thin, shabby fellow with a ridiculous chin.

The first two took the available seats, and the shabby chap asked me in a comically squeaky voice to move down a seat because they "[were] three." Wordlessly, I did so (again with the being considerate) , shfting my salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, plate, napkin, fork, knife, beer glass, breadsticks, book, briefcase and self down one more seat toward the kitchen. A shrill, yet oddly unenthusiastic "thank you" followed from the down-at-heel dude.

As I settled in at my new spot, hemmed in my the newspaper they leave on the counter and the other accoutrements that are usually associated with the business-end of a bar, my new neighbor leaned his elbow and upper arm on the bar, cupped his mangy pate in his hand and commenced to talking with his associates. He slouched and slithered, hurriedly drinking his ice water between sentences.

For my part, i think I probably did some staring. But then turned toward the now-preferable goings-on in the kitchen and server station, and tried to read.

My pizza came, and I started eating. Even before I knew what was going to happen next, I was aware of taking my time. I love that place, and I love teh pizza. And though I could go every week (or more often), I don't. So it's still kind of an experience to relish.

Then the pizzas were delivered to the people next to me, and I caught an accidental elbow in the shoulder from my new friend as he pushed the sleeves of his sweater up to his armpits, in advance of picking up his cutlery. This done, he set upon his pizza with gusto, dicing it into pieces, and then skewering several onto his fork at a time. A distant whine, like a jet engine being started, rose up from the counter, and I realized I was hearing the Tasmanian Devil turn redwoods into sawdust. Bits of crisp pizza crust were flying everywhere, and the unliquefied portion of the pizza slid further and further off his plate as he attacked the other end.

Never you mind that the only thing true about those last two sentences is the bit about the pizza sliding halfway off the plate as it awaited devouring.

To my right, something caught fire on the stove, and there was the clatter-CLANK of bussed dishes. Ahead of me rose bleached and chlorinated steam from the dishwasher. On the flat panel TVs, country-strong Jim Thome called his shot by pointing his bat to the outfield, and Serena Williams' breasts and earrings played tennis with Amelie Mauresmo (and still lost in 3 sets, even though they outnumbered Mauresmo 4 to 1).

And thus, with a slouching human garbage-disposal to my left, and a dishpan to my right, did I savor my dinner.

September 7, 2006

it's the little things (Pt II)

it's the little things (Pt II)
Puddle Duck
Originally uploaded by rotorglow at 7 Sep '06, 12.53am EDT.

I've been in a generally shitty mood for a couple of weeks. Since I was a kid I've felt angsty about the end of summer, but recently it's gone beyond that for reasons I'm just now starting to understand, and will write more about soon.

But sometimes things break through.

As I was walking from the T to my office, I went past the semi-permanent greenish puddle on Beach Street (though it's much larger than an "puddle" might lead you to believe. And there was a carved wooden duck, floating, next to the waterlogged cardboard the trash guys refused to haul away. It was just floating there, not even bobbing because there were no waves on the puddle, no breath of air in the damp morning. And it made me smile.

Before I even got there, things hadn't been going well. I'd managed to lose my T pass between the staircase of my building (where I was when I double-checked that I had it with me) and the T stop, not 7 minutes away at a slow trudge. I stood outside the turnstile, checking and re-checking all of my pockets, my wallet, other stacks of bills, etc. I debated retracing my steps, even all the way back home, but was super late, and on some level couldn't even believe that I'd really lost it.

So I decided to just forget about it, and headed to the token booth to buy a token. One please, I said, putting a couple of bills through the slot. You look like you lost some money, said the agent with a bit of a smile, pulling the bills toward him. Well, I said, actually it seems I lost my T pass. Oh, he said, smile disappearing. He pushed my money back through the slot toward me, and I looked up. Go on through, he said, and hooked a thumb at the open gate. I was really shocked, and even more touched. Such a small gesture (that doesn't even affect him personally), but it really struck me. And I really needed it. I sat on the train, weirdly dazed, simultaneously feeling wretched and reassured all out of proportion to the cause and resolution of the whole thing.

My dear friends Tim and Kat had a baby this morning. His name is Miles, and he's a big one, as babies go. He's a tiny person--a whole person!--not very useful or convenient, or maybe even all that much fun at this point, but with stuff to learn and teach. Which is all a pretty big thing, for such a little...thing...to be facing and causing. And even from all the way over here, I'm a little awed.

"Awed." Yeah. That'll have to do for now.

September 8, 2006

it's the little things (Pt III)

On the T this morning was a tall, well- (if strangely-) dressed middle aged woman, with horn rimmed glasses, black Reeboks, a single long braid, and a long, grey wool coat with three black panels sewn into the back. She looked schoolmarm-ish, was smiling a lot, and seemed painfully, earnest. She walked quickly, and needlessly, pacing around the platform and train. She seemed to be everywhere. I figure she's some kind of colonel or lieutenant in the Salvation Army, home on leave for a couple of weeks.

And everytime I saw here, my iPod was one step ahead of me. First, I was listening to Killing Floor, by Verbena. Then a bit later there was Running With the Devil, and Jamie's Cryin', both by Van Halen. And finally Hell's Bells.

And as she did her snap-turns exiting the train, I felt that we made a good team, keeping good and evil in balance.

September 11, 2006


It's a little hard to know what to say about this date. The other four anniversaries haven't really affected me, because in one way or another I was wrapped up in withstanding my own kind of September attacks.

But "five" is just one of those numbers. And this time around I'm really remembering where I was, who I was with, and (frankly) who I was as this particularly despicable era of history began. None of it is very easy.

Patti Smith played a show at the Hatch Shell a few months later, and she gave some great advice, though it's damned difficult to heed: Remember who you were before 9/11.

September 29, 2006


Originally uploaded by rotorglow at 29 Sep '06, 12.41am EDT.

Life's been pretty weird in Rotorland. I've been working a lot, for one thing, which always unbalances me a little. Hence (more or less) the radio-silence.

This is kind of allegorical, and kind of not, but:

I (re)connected (with) an old friend this week. I rewired the switch on the neon sign I got for Xmas in 1994. I'd been running it every evening for about 10 years when the switch broke. Since then, it's been dark, and I've moved it around my apartment, trying to keep it visible and in the way so I'd take the time to to find the right replacement switch.

Kept not happening, though. Freud, please call your office.

But last weekend, on one of my ever-more common trips to Home Depot, I finally found a switch that would work, and rewired the light. The switch doesn't fit perfectly, and I can't fit the cover plate back on over the hole. But the sign works (and hasn't caught fire), and I guess I'd forgotten how much I'd missed it. It's one of those things that always always made me happy.

Here the allegory breaks down a bit.

In other news, I'm finished with answering the telemarketers' batphone. Lesson learned. Yeah, I'm in the book, but the people who need to reach me (or by whom I want to be reached) have a different number.

"Take me off your list. If you have something to send me through the mail, I'll consider it, but I don't respond to telephone solicitations."

About September 2006

This page contains all entries posted to Rotorglow in September 2006. They are listed from oldest to newest.

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