Friday, May 18, 2007

The Aquarium

I'm sitting in Starbuck’s admiring the long line of people waiting for their caffeine while I wait for Barnes & Noble(s) to open at nine so I can buy my dad What Doctors Think for his 54th birthday. There is an endless stream of people streaming by the windows on their way to work and what not. Little girls in polka-dot mini-skirts, average looking guys with cellos strapped to their backs. Across the street a chauffeur is opening the back door of a silver Bentley (that’s a kind of car) that costs $300,000 outside the Sherry House (with italics).

There are a lot of rich and famous people in this neighborhood. Back before I was going to graduate school and had most of my reading directed by professors I used to go through the carefully sorted trash over on 79th street before reporting to work at 12:20 am. I discovered that Tom Wolfe’s wife subscribes to People magazine and Tom himself subscribes to the New Yorker (Tom Wolfe is the famous author of The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test among other things). I never did find much in Eliot Spitzer’s (he’s our billionaire governor) or Mike Bloomberg’s (he’s our billionaire mayor) trash – maybe they’re to busy saving the world to sort out their own paper trash. These days though I’m only studying Chinese and reading Chinese history. Maybe I’ve finally put my dumpster diving days behind me (although I do still flitch the occasional 12-hour-old New York Times, but not out of trash cans because the chance of discovering a nice smear of pure-bred dog poop is just too high).

But this is all beside the point because I’m sitting in Starbuck’s watching people swim by sipping their coffee on the other side of the glass. There goes one with huge black Gucci sunglasses. She looks tropical.


Anonymous Christy said...

Great description! I can almost see the people.

2:13 PM  

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