newest entry 2002-06-25 2:44 p.m.

Monotony is the law of nature.   Look at the monotonous manner in which the sun rises. The monotony of necessary occupations is exhilarating and life-giving.


I started my part time job yesterday. It feels really good to be part of the work force again, even in this small way.

Cookie came in and showed me how everything works, and she got a chance to show off Cookie Boy.

The job is a simple one: some administrative assistance, some desktop publishing. When the World Trade Center was attacked, tons of paper rained down on the city like confetti, mocking the very idea of archival orderliness, civilization and control. Well, part of my new job is to organize and file exactly those kinds of papers...I am restoring order to our city, one document at a time.

I am being facetious, but there's something haunting about working in the vacuum-sealed, high-rise corporate world again, after a two-year absence. Working in tall buildings used to thrill me, one of the pluses of temping in Manhattan. The patriarchy of the corporate world seemed intimidating and safe and weirdly I can feel everyone's vulnerability. All this filing and toiling could be instantly undone.

Motherless Brooklyn is fabulous. It's narrated by a mook with Tourette's syndrome and OCD. He says at one point, "New York is a Tourettic city," and that's so true. So many little tics and compulsions propel us through the day. I have a whole script in my head that gets called up everytime I cross a street. If I'm crossing between lights and see a car coming, I say over and over in my head, "Are you gonna stop? Are you gonna stop?Areyougonnastop?" If the crowd on the sidewalk is moving too slow for me, and they always are, my mind is babbling, "C'mon c'mon c'mon, c'mon, c'mon, c'mon, let's move let's move let's move..." Every situation has a little thought-macro that takes over, and the thought has no purpose at all--it's useless except as a way to blow off mental steam. Nervous energy, speechifyin'.

Anywaze, Jonathan Lethem is a magical writer, he really makes language come alive. M.B. reminds me a little of Bee Season, which is also preoccupied with (and reverent towards) language.

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