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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 (4/26)

February 7, 1991

Choose a different dreamscape

Oh, cool, so it came through: Light typing, filing, writing? (doubtful.). Decent people. Free lunch!

Thundered downtown on the #1 train (or was it the #9 train… hmmm…), hiked through misting grainy streets to find the locale: one enormous, mammoth, collosol brutalist complex a.k.a.: “Metropolitan Life Tower.” My new home for 18 hrs per week and did I mention the free lunch?

At the same time, or (sorry I could not travel both, and be one traveler, long I stood) nearly so, traversed to 3rd Ave + 27th to one Albuquerque Grill where I (and at least 49 others) clustered to fill out non-existent applications. It never appeared. But I dropped a resume nonetheless (for a waiter job?!), for you see, sympathetic reader, my vision now is to maintain not one but TWO jobs, if possible. Met Life for the light typing and the free lunch and then some odd waitering position to make some easy extra cash, both part time preferably, to mix it up a bit, if you will, to shuffle the deck now and then, keep it fresh. But as I sat there, on this raised dais of the bar, and tried to submerge myself back into Capricorn and the escapades of Mr. Miller, my attention was drawn, repeatedly, away from the pages and back onto the gears of the magnificent, milling machine around me and outside. And how not? The mesh and grind in that room alone! The passions churning… all those universes… I mean, for Christ’s sake, it’s gotta just be said, not to wax too poetic about it all but really the sexual energy of the streets is enough to make anyone spit sparks. Or maybe cry them.

For example, walking up 6th Ave, (near J + M’s old pad), and who approaches but this Japanese/Hawaiian sorceress w/black hair and generally a raven aspect, wrapped in a long black cape, and as she passes me it splits down the side… a glimpse of black nylon spiderweb legging to the thigh! (tho, now that I consider it, it may have been a transvestite, but who cares! Point stands.). And that’s just one of so so many. Blond and dark and all the shades and hues and high cheekbones, slanting eyes, that practiced stare into nowhere, sculpted from heat and distance and desire. Everyone here is an actress or a model, or running the machinery to support them. The city of the gods, they say, and the gods of the gods. So soft + smooth and framed by a super-lattice of steel+glass and cold indifference. Yeah, I could cry at the majesty and magnificence of the place. Every tear an electric spark. 

Earlier (yesterday?) I had traversed that dubious part of Central Park known as The Ramble and it was leafy and cool and I ran into a woman + her dog; and the dog watched a squirrel forage, and the woman said, “C’mon honey, I don’t think so. Not today.” And a piece of my heart followed them on their way.

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