year for Thanksgiving you get irony with all the
trimmings. Irony's not dead. It's just darker
and more trenchant than it was. Have a bite of
this column I wrote back on September 10th for
eve of destruction. Didn't send it the next day,
because, well, you all know what happened then.
If you're bored in the dressing room, try out
some Mad-Libs on this prose: every place where
the word "Love" occurs below, substitute fate/death/religious
fanaticism/war/anthrax/the World Trade Center.
Or just the word pizza. So here it is, before
life as we know it changed for NewYorkers and
in the air. It's everywhere. It's the hottest
thing on the streets this season. And it stinks
to high heaven. It's love! New York City is a
town where everyone is obsessed with/searching
for/talking about LOVE. NYC loves love more than
any place on Earth. But how can love be born in
this city of the half-second attention span? Where
everyone is impatiently jetting off here, there
and too busy to really smell flowers or pheromones?
When love happens here
it must be sudden and mortal, like a car wreck.
People chase love. They are chasing their tails!
love = office love; need an apartment love; need-a-roommate
love; need-a-job love; need-some-money love; dog
run love; need-to-have-kids-NOW love; love-your-latest
love. But mostly it's talking-about-love. It's
literally all anyone ever talks about: the Wall
Streeters buttoned up in their olde bars, the
little gangs of black kids on the streets, the
queers in the bistros, the trash-talking babes
on the trains, the old folks on park benches,
the moguls in their limos, screenwriters, celebrities,
doormen, the wicked and the wise, even the hipster
nation talks about love constantly in whatever
academic way is permissible to talk about this
issue. And folks fall in love at the drop of a
hat. If it smells good, looks good or sounds good,
go for it! Everyone's clocks are tickin' and it's
a mad race to the finish: 1.5 kids + 1 dog in
a New Jersey 3 bdrm.
should I join the runners or run the fuck away?
What does the radio say? Love is the Drug. Love
is Strange. Love Hurts. Love is All You Need.
Love Can Make You Happy. Love Will Break Your
Heart. Luckily the seen-it-all cab drivers are
more than willing to offer their worldly wisdom
on matters of the heart.
Pakistani at 3:00 AM notices me glowing incandescently
me with the words of the immortal Britney Spears,
who says NO! to sex before marriage. And can I
imagine how difficult that must be when your boyfriend
is Justin Timberlake of 'N Sync?
Indian cabbie the next night says, full of insinuation,
"You know what they say in my country you
have to rub gold to see if it's real!" Yeah, yeah,
rub it. And go tell that to the Pakistani. No
wonder you folks don't get along.
He also keeps saying, "It takes two hands to clap!
It takes two hands to clap!" Uh-huh.
Greek at 5:00 AMclearly psychotic and driving
like an Afri-cabbie
recommends race-mixing. "Nothing is more beautiful!"
he exclaims, showing me photos of his Filipino
wife and lovely twenty-something daughters, leaving
only the good Lord's hands on the wheel to steer
us back to Brooklyn.
get home to my 2x4 room and mull it over on my
single mattress on the floor. When I tell folks
about it the morning after, no one can believe
cabbie got chatty with me, much less offered advice
on love. Obviously, I look like I need it. But
I'm learnin', even if it is the hard way, and
who knows? Maybe someday I'll find myself driving
a cab, offering unsolicited advice to tired little
girls at four in the morning. And it'll be the
J. Geils Band for me, man. "I've had the blues,
the reds and the pinks...all I can say is...LOVE