Saturday, September 20, 2008

The Aqua Mustang 45 – GIRL WITH PALE EYES

One day in October in this new time – no more school, no more army – one day thinking I was of New York now and not just in it, I walked along Central Park South and saw the Plaza, and then the horse carriages on the park side of the avenue, something that had not been part of my childhood but still brought on these powerful feelings of nostalgia. And saw, as if it were a part of my actual history, a hotel's doormen and baggage men in what looked like French army costumes. Saw through Rumplemeyer’s plate glass windows people eating big ice cream concoctions beneath large shiny toy bears and dogs and deer and pandas – something else I had never seen when in the city in actual childhood.

At sunset I passed this lovely tall girl who was gliding the other way. Delicate but also statuesque and with a confidence in her bearing that made her foreign to me – from some wondrous sphere – whatever her nationality – very light blond hair that may or may not have been natural and was an erotic touch either way – and very white and perfect skin – high cheek bones – full lips that betrayed no feeling – and eyes so light they had snow from some far northern place in them. All this tinged with the oranges and lavenders of the sunset colors from the sky on the street and in the park.

And suddenly I felt what might, I hoped, be not so much despair as absurdity, something, I hoped, that would be okay with Camus, my current literary hero who had moved absurdity up to the highest level.

But suddenly I knew it was not that easy, knew I would have to fight. The way some people had to fight against suicide. I would have to fight against what seemed all to real now, the proposition that no matter what I did, that nothing in the world I had now could hold together.

Looking at the girl beneath that sky with Rumplemeyer’s behind me I was in the midst of sadness that, if I should ever let myself cry – which I wouldn’t – sadness that would have no end.

Sadness that was worse than feeling nothing.

I moved on to the Oak Room Bar. As I walked, I lit a fresh cigarette from the one I was about to put out, hoping I did it well.

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