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There was a lot mumbling and muttering (or whatever the equivalent is in written form) about NYC during the Das Boot section, and whether or not Jay would end up there next. Well, sure enough, in these pages we find out he did. This section takes up almost directly after leaving the boat, and tracks his efforts during the first months to navigate the city and find a job and, maybe, love. Continues for several months in this fashion.

Hello, NYC! i (15/26)

April 1, 1991

Choose a different dreamscape

Who-hoo! Loving life! 

[April Fools!]

Actually, more bitterness than joy right now, stemming from much frustration and denial. 1½  hours spent trying to send my many-tentacled story to blankity-blank on Broadway. Ultimately, short of cash, opted for 3rd class delivery which insures arrival in the next (or following) millenium. But let’s start at the start, shall we?

Arrived at P.O., MS in hand, to find, wonders, virtually no line. So, in no time I’m at the window. I ask for 2 large mailing envelopes (one for the SASE, anticipating the inevitable send-back). Lady flips two pillow-sized folders on the counter. I say, “I’m sorry, those are too big.” She says, “What? You want the mediums?” I say, “I guess so.”

More rigamarole. She hands me two smaller folders. I head to an empty table and attempt (for some time) to shoehorn the massive stack of T.M. pages into the envelope. Too small! I return to the line (still relatively small and bearable) get to a new window. A man this time. I say, “I…” (But wait! I must interject that while at the table, in my frantic rush to conclude this bureaucratic  detour, I had addressed one envelope BEFORE realizing the size problem. So… 1 left… I say, “I bought these there… wrong size… etc.” Back he comes with two new, towel-sized envelopes – large. Back at table, scribbling addresses, preparing pages, shove it all in per the custom. Back in line which has grown to conventional P.O. standards now. In other words: HUGE. An hour later I arrive at window. Again, a new agent, huffing and puffing, tells me that 1st class = $5.50. Broke as my sorry ass is, I say, “Fine… make it 3rd class.” She hands back the stamps + my envelopes. Back to the table, I lick stamps, adhere them to surface of envelopes, put the MS and SASE into the primary envelope, turn to find a line grown phenomenally extended. But I cut to the front. Perhaps through some collective, Post Office intuition, or some other monitoring system (because I don’t think ANY of my previous agent friends were even still in the room) they realized that I had been through thrice already. So they waved me through. Still, now it appears that my package may take FIVE days to travel 100 blocks. I could crawl faster. Am I stoooooopid? Five days back to me. Absolutely soonest response: 10 days. Ridiculous. So stupid! But I really didn’t have the $$. But I could have carted it by subway / bus / taxi for less… Anyway, now I need a nap.


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