When my friend Jeff lived on Fourteenth Street in the eighties it was sleazy. He lived in an SRO, a three story walk up. I went there once and we smoked a lot of cigarettes. He introduced me to Charles Bukowski, underground comic books and OTB. He wrote me a poem that had the word ‘equatorial’ in it. Sometimes he was called Angry Jeff. Fourteenth Street isn’t what it was years ago. But nothing is what it was years ago — silly me.
Now there are modeling agencies in that region so there are gorgeous people parading up and down that street. Union Square is there with that farmer’s market everyone loves. Whole Foods is there and DSW. I like to go to that Halloween store on 10th St. Today I went looking for green spider webs and purple candles.
When I left I walked across Fourteenth Street to the west side. There were so many people sucking at the air. You had to scoot and slide to get around them all. Oh my — I’m glad I didn’t breed. There isn’t enough air. Some of the people didn’t look happy to be here. I always say I wouldn’t want to create another lost soul. There are just so goddamned many people and a lot of them are populated here – oh I know there’s China but – good lawd!
What are all of us doing here? I suppose we buy things, use energy. Some of us think we’re special but if we thought about how many of us exist, maybe we’d change our minds. How could so many of us be special when there are so many of us? It’s like bugs.
There was a tall man in green scrubs on the train. Maybe he was a doctor. I guess we should make more people to fix other people. Doctors are needed to fix all the people being born. And people have to have cars, so there have to be people made to make all those cars. And then there have to be people made to sweep the floors and there have to be people to put in jail so other people can feel lofty.
So I get it — generally, people have to be here to make stuff for others to buy and use. That’s it. In other parts of the world they have different notions but the idea of having stuff even in those places is seductive. The ‘good life’ is pushed on us like heroin. A lot of people imagine they’re here looking for something better or to be a part of some phenomenal movement that they’re going to start and they think their kid’s gonna help. Maybe. But like I always say, maybe the earth is just toilet paper for us to wipe our asses with until it’s all gone.