This time when I saw the Empire State Building and I had no feeling at all. I was taking a $100 cab ride across Manhattan. I had taken a lot of zombie drugs to fly, a little more than usual because my flying lasted 12 hours instead of seven, dosage gets tricky.
I really didn’t know how I felt going into the city to the typewriter shop today, I was looking at the city, as you always do, it always engages, its veins and arteries, its tunnel, its jugular, the fonts of its signs, their faces, its hot greys and greasy whites and lickable filth and I didn’t feel like I have, like, I must get on the subway, and smell it, ride, I must be in New York, it was more like I had been to war and I came home to my wife, and I remembered her through a haze, I didn’t know if I still loved her. I didn’t even know what she liked.
I went in a small elevator, around an unmarked corner, into the typewriter chapel and I looked at all the letters on circle stamps, white on black, those are my favorite, and the ones all on one bookshelf, ’60s or ’70s colored ones that must be the fashionable ones right now, all of this was how people would write, and I sat and listened to the men talk about springs, carriages, repair, tension, how much will it be? in the most civilized way.
So then this was a different love, of the typewriter repairman and his accent on the flip ends of words, casually, and outside again with the Empire State Building there again, she was a totally different place.
You don’t fall in love with things once, of course.
I have generally viewed my time here more like military service. It’s true. Military service does send one to beautiful exotic lands, sometimes, it is not only, not just about killing. Is it.
I went to evening church and a couple who have been married fifty years had their wedding rings blessed and reapplied, as it were. I cried, they did not.
The groom (of forever ago and today) had the same glasses of my grandpa, same glasses of which my grandpa took to the east coast and thus I was brought to visit him, thus I was introduced to New York.
I feel very differently. After I broke up with my ex, I felt so awful for so long, and then I stopped feeling awful and felt great for a while. Like all the work of grieving paid off, unexpected as a slot machine. I really felt enlightened for a couple of months.
Sometimes people are happy, just happy, not coping with anything, not wondering if they will have a panic attack or if they will be able to sleep or if they will have jobs or have children or, the rest.
I was happy I kept my typewriter, back in Kansas City, I kept it, despite its heaviness, it is in the corner of my dear friend’s basement, where my other dear friend set it, having taken one of the heavier boxes himself, and that it is there, that I am here, that I may get it back, but it may live there holding its letters and be still and wait.