This is a Bad Post

I was walking down 95th Street between Columbus and Central Park West this afternoon, and saw two old people sucking serious face on the sidewalk. It was jarring and intriguing—she had silver bun and he had a terrible comb-over, a backpack on his back, and was about a foot shorter than she was. I couldn’t help but go out of my way to get a better look at them: Turns out she was probably my age exactly (to the day—and a double Pisces to boot), and he was, oh, probably, like, eighty. (Don’t get me wrong: I know some super attractive eighty-year-old men, but this wasn’t one of them.) He was shuffling, and they were holding hands the wrong way—she had the man’s position: over rather than under. If she hadn’t have been looking for her contact lens in his stomach with her tongue a moment before, I would definitely have assumed that he was her father.

So I thought, O.K., that guy must be really interesting. I’m not kidding—like a famous concert pianist, or, like, the poet laureate, or the guy about to invent the cure for cancer. Maybe he’s Don Delillo, or a former Nobel Peace prize winner. He didn’t look rich. Then I thought, No, if he were any of those things, he’d be with a younger, sexier chick—not a Weight Watcher in a pair of mom jeans.

So this is the point. I mean, rhonestly: how many judgments can you fit into one fantasy? All day I’ve been noticing how not a detail—not a person, not a flyer (Ashton Kutcher and Katherine Heigl—ugh), not a dog owner, not a parent, couple, mob of teenagers—goes by that I don’t judge as good or bad, like or dislike, and then pretty, fat, cute, gay, angry, oh great shoes, and/or obnoxious.

Earlier, after I picked up car up from the Ludlow Garage (good) where I paid $600 (bad) for a new alternator (good), after having broken down on the L.I.E. (bad) with Scout (terrible), I sat down in a cafe (good) on Clinton Street (good), and plugged my computer in (really, really good). I was writing a work-related letter to someone (anxiety-provoking), two pages, single spaced (bad), and a few minutes after I sent it off, the guy next to me (not sure yet), said, “I couldn’t help but notice that you mentioned Pema Chodron in the letter you were writing; I think she’s great.” (Very, very, very bad.) And yet I liked him.

The point is, wow, by the end of a day’s worth of judgments, I’m exhausted and a totally sick of myself (good—I deserve it).


6 thoughts on “This is a Bad Post”

  1. and i spent the day at my dumb job (supremely annoying) and then massaged a young girl who said she used to ski professionally (what does that mean) and her gray haired boyfriend who looked a lot like tashi colman. he talked the WHOLE TIME and she laughed hysterically the WHOLE TIME (funny but perplexing). he asked questions like, when you massage people with hairy backs, do you then all get together and talk about how gross that is? (no. maybe once) Is a charley horse between the hip and knee or knee and foot? (the later, he was the one dissenting vote of the 4 of us) and why call it Reflexology when it is just foot massage? (really?) a whole hour or not thinking about my dumb job! (very very good)

  2. and I woke up on the shrine room floor of a zen style house at four in the morning (so good that I got worried which was bad) and then a huge monk came in and did his puja (good) and since I’d slept in my clothes (good for me) I didn’t have to hide so I just sat with him (very good, so good I kicked myself for not doing it more often and felt bad), and then had a fun ride to the airport with my light suitcases (good) and got a bulkhead seat on the right side of the plane (very very good but also kind of guilt making) and saw mount everest (mind stopping, no judgment making) and then heard the western girl in a miniskirt making out with her boyfriend behind me (WTF!!??!!) and some other stuff happened and then I was in a taxi looking at the smog (bad) but there was a pyramid of fresh coconuts so we stopped and Prashant had to buy me some (guilty good) because I’m out of cash (bad). I’m not doing this nearly as well as you did. Just wanted to share my day it seems. But I too have noticed that I do this all the time. And I noticed that in Bhutan every single person is trying to FIX everything all the time. It’s exhausting. Not the Bhutanese but all the doers of good, the NGOs the UNICEF the ministers of this and that. It’s good but it’s exhausting and sometimes I just want to let things be.

    It’s 105 degrees in my room and I have insomnia. (not as bad as it sounds)

    Looking forward to seeing you soon (GOOD)

  3. I just read this (very good). And I read in Architectural Digest (yuck) with Cher on the cover looking tres plastic (yucky yuck) that she is a Buddhist (WTF?) and her teacher is Pema Chodron (aspiration okay relenting…) and she is quoted as saying that Pema is ‘a genuis in Sheldon Leonard’s body’ (okay not so bad but who is Sheldon Leonard??). And she goes on to say, “as corny as it sounds, the soul of the universe, everything I need, I can find in its practice” (referring to Buddhism…redemption!) BUT…taking a look at the pictures of her LA high rise refurbished apt with the tiger skin under the coffee table and the hunks of junk around…(ew).

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