Travelogue II: More Premature Dismissals

August 24, 2008

HMWELL. And then what happened? At about 5 in the evening I lay down on my bed and thought to myself, this feels (Gian voice) reaalllll goooood, so I fell asleep, and woke up at 7:30 the next morning. Above me was some Norge with a laptop, to my left was a French couple with, funnily enough, an Australian flag-themed beach towel, and then on the other side of the room were four other dudes. I got up, showered, took a staunch piss then went out into Chelsea. Fabulous Chelsea! More galleries than any other part of New York, per square mile, or something, and home to a lot of homosexuals. I saw no evidence of either of these qualities. I’m afraid this day continues the bleak overtones of the previous two. But, not that bleak. For one I was no longer so sleep-deprived that fluorescent gargoyles were swooping down from their street lamp rainbow nests to plunder my front pocketed wallet, my grip on reality had tightened; for two I found a nice coffee place called the Brown Cup. Don’t let your imagine run away with itself, the place in fact was like a Gloria Jeans with pretensions toward being a Cino to Go, but, this being America, they served bagels, and you can’t fuck up a bagel. They tried their best, layering on the cream cheese with a two inch thickness, but it retained its basic bagelness: deliciousness, softness, and cream cheesiness (the last in fact being amplified until I scraped it off to a satisfactory level).

This was like a proton energy pill. I felt like I belonged a bit more. My pocket was filling up with change I couldn’t understand despite being warned about it and knowing the difference between a dime and a nickel before I left (the 10c dimes are the size of Australian 5c coins, and the 5c nickels are the size of 10c Australian coins… see, completely incomprehensible), but this was a minor problem. I had a copy of the Village Voice, I wandered up Madison Avenue to 34th street and Times Square and went into the Hershey’s and M&Ms shops (lots of stupid crap in there, like sexy portraits of the green M&M), I asked three different shop guys how mobile telephony works in the US and none of them gave me answers I could understand (they kept saying things like “your minutes” and “your bonus minutes”, which to me suggests that the US has a fetish for describing things in a non-intuitive way like it ain’t no thang), I crossed the road with gusto and determined that only a putz waits on the actual footpath to cross the road, that you must venture about two feet onto the street to wait, and I had another coffee (again in a paper cup, there must be some law against china in the US, or at least the state of New York) accompanied by a completely flavourless strawberry croissant, and I read “Rock the Junta”, an essay by Scott Carnia in the 2007 Best American Non-Required Reading which, unintentionally, echoed the patronizing density that I felt coming off so many of the Americans that I was dealing with and overhearing during these first two days, so I began to carry myself with an I-know-you attitude. I felt I had this place, so confusing at first, pegged. As if the universe was telling me that I did indeed, two obese diners with salads and massive cups of cola chose that moment to sit down next to me. Then I went home. On the way back this guy blocked my path and tried to sell me his rap group’s CDR. He put his hand on my chest but I pushed by and he went “Yo man where you from?”

Me: (still walking) Australia.

Guy’s Friend: (over the heads of a group waiting to cross the road) Where? Sydney, Melbourne?

Guy: Hey come back here.

Me: (shakes head)

Guy: Hey come here, hey meth head, come here meth head, meth head. Meth head!

This leads me to relay another story. After Mya and I left the Empire State Building we were walking along and this group of very young teenage boys were walking our way. This was a little odd, remember that it was about midnight, but I didn’t think much of it and walked ahead without paying them regard, then one of them, a singing one of them, reached a climactic point in the song he was singing and leapt a short distance off the ground and hit me in the back of the neck with a rolled up magazine. Because I was a little shocked and no harm had been done I didn’t do anything in response, Mya didn’t even notice. This was like the time I was walking down Northbridge with Matt and Soda and, again, a group of young boys walked through us and one of them punched me in the chest and kept going, and I did nothing, and Matt and Soda didn’t notice. Why do they do that? And why do they do it to me? Other encounter with random New Yorkers, a very camp Hispanic guy came into the pub where I bought that bad sandwich and started to sell the barmaid wholesale condoms. I think in Australia such a person would be told to get the hell out of the shop, but she was like, “Okay what’s the deal?” That was interesting. Anyway, after she went to get the manager he turned to the businessmen to his right and said, “Ay, you guyth want thome condomth? I’m givin’ them away for free.”

Businessmen: (shake head)

Camp Guy: (turns left toward me) What about you, you want thome condomth?

Me: No thanks.

At least he thought there was a chance I might be in a position to use the condoms between now and their expiration date. After the condom pub thing, checking out of the Chelsea Star, catching the subway to the airport, looking for the SUNY New Paltz representatives, and feeling as though I have the measure of New York City, and that this measure makes my dick itch.

I didn’t really take any pictures during this portion of my trip, I wasn’t in the mood. Apart from this one of my room:

See? Australian flag towel.

See? Australian flag towel.

To compensate, here is an extra photo that I took before I left:

Haha nice arms Fatty.

Haha nice arms Fatty.

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One Response to “Travelogue II: More Premature Dismissals”

  1. Tristan Says:

    I can’t believe some punk slapped you like a hi-hat cymbal finish to his song! This is why you must always travel around in New York with a baseball bat.

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