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2002-11-04

Dylan Thomas
B. 10.27.14 Swansea, Wales / D. 11.9.53 New York City
Alchoholism

Saturday night
Down off Bowery on deserted Baxter Street while my friend Enokizu relieved himself against the local public school, I strolled ahead
Not the same
and stood in contemplation of the only residential building on that stretch of block. A four-floor tenement with maybe eight apartments, maybe only four; facade pushing a mere five on the scale to ten of grimy; not too bad: I could picture myself arriving there for a party.
Years ago
Already wasted; the cab ride a rolling confusion of neon Chinese and gleaming gold wedding cake rooftops and Arabic music sizzling out from the front seat like street food steam;
All the rage
“May I smoke in your cab?”
All I took for romance
then over-tipping; for the rest of the weekend the certainty that I also dropped a twenty on the floor will induce apnea.
Rooted in nightsoil
Behind a cracked, dingy street door an entry pristine save for post-no-bills notices, buzzers, aluminum trim: tenants pulling together, address on the rise!
Rich fragrant me-spawning filth that got carted away, and its dust blew away
Endless wait in the cold green glare for the ear-splitting clearance; flights up a narrow staircase of horrible yellow and gray; screechy laughter and Natalie Merchant ahead. Premonitions: red pepper light strings rice paper shades not enough ashtrays five knots of men with women attached six chains of four women each perched in rows on sofa barstools etcetera carrot sticks broccoli bubble-blowing lorgnettes at rest in puddles of liquid soap a hostess stripped of welcome.
Never to be replenished.
The icebox stuccoed with novelty magnets and porn; I can’t admire any more personalities, I need a nap. From the curb on deserted Baxter Street I scanned the third floor, trying to pick out which might be the bedroom with its warm nest of coats.

Consolation Site: Delphine ne fume plus

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