Strong Coffee and Red Wine

Pleasantly tired and sleepy most of the past day since getting back from the Expo at Zero Space. Weird work there, but I rather miss it. Two middleaged ladies (middleaged the way I am middleaged, I suppose) running the credentials and uniform room on the 2nd storey, both from Colorado, which amazed one of the enormous negresses that came by. One was largebodied with her hair piled on her head, the other was a spindly superannuated counterculturist with multicolored hair scarf and noserings. The negress thought perhaps I was “from Denver” too, and we were part of a little coven. Interesting notion upon seeing a similarity amongst white fokes.

Misunderstanding when I checked in there at 9:15 am. I said I was looking for credentials and gear, meaning mine, but without knowing it I’d been assigned to work that room. So they told me to go away and wait. So when it was time to train me, I was downstairs, picking up bits of work here and there. Thought I was going to be working on bibs and bags. Miki was doing bibs but I was not part of that. So I’d print out “WAVE 1 / 12345” stickers to put on the bags.

Was in the right place upstairs by eleven, handing out t-shirts, jackets and hoodies to STAFFers getting their credentials for Sunday’s half marathon. Peer worker was Nick, an Italian guy who often spends time driving and unloading trucks. He brought lunch from home, a stinky ziti salad. We joked about how I folded the t-shirts because of my time in retail (which consists entirely of Williams-Sonoma).

Renata Slavicname from the Spring Fling on April 14 showed up to work the second shift beginning at 2. Very friendly atmosphere then. In the last half-hour or so before I left, business picked up, from one customer every ten minutes to one or two a minute. But we had it easy. Sounds like they are having a madhouse today.

Up to the Q at Pacific St near Atlantic Avenue by 4:30, after stopping for an 8.6% beer in the beer garden at the Expo. Really excellent stuff, from SixPoint, called Piff. $9 and worth it. Easy ride home. Bright and sunny when I emerged on 55th St. Then red wine from Shirley’s and a Marie Callender’s. Slept on and off for 18 hours between snatches of Godfather II and Andrew Roberts on Churchill.

Mild panic around noon when I rose, made coffee, didn’t know where my credentials and lanyard were. They were in the green eco bag, along with my yellow jacket, hoodie,

Where are my Craft gloves? i have lost them again. Going to pack the work gloves in the inside pockets of the yellow EVENT STAFF jacket. We can’t bring big bags or backpacks, so I’m putting things in pockets and carrying the black Sportsac (decaying insides) as a crossbody thing outside the jacket, with oddments inside. Amphipod as well? Maybe.

Thought I would get up for a run, go to gym, go to mass in the afternoon. No, too bushed. Conserve your energy. Big night/day coming up, probably won’t sleep much. At some sesame chicken and rice from Dainobu where I also picked up some Amino Vital gel, which I intend to sip along my journey. I catch downtown F (?) train at 1am or so, then L at 14th to Bedford Ave. Walk 5 blocks to 12th and Union. Meeting spot for pre-Start.

Put money into Chase checking (OD) and Chase Amazon. Ordered an amino supplement which with credits is only costing $7.

On YouTube, watching a guy named Billy Parisi make sausage. I’d like to make bangers but do not have equipment.


Sick Again and It Serves Me Right

When M was still here we were often sick in the morning. Sometimes vomiting-sick, otherwise just a bit weak and nauseated. We were sick—I was sick—from the cumulative effect of drinking a lot of vodka for days.

Last night I finished off a 1.75 of Sobieski, the first 1.75 that’s been in the house in maybe ten months. I got the 1.75 on Saturday because I discovered a new liquor store on West 55th St (I think) west of Ninth Avenue. They had some good prices. The Sobieski came in a nice red box and had two branded shot glasses. About $24. I made a note of that and stopped off and bought it when I got back from the paint store. (I was matching chips at the Janovic on 52nd and Tenth. Needed two colors, bought just one quart this time, the light green cream for the living room.) And then from Saturday through Monday I drank it all with V8 juice (and sometimes Worcestershire and and pepper and celery). Got three tacos at Chipotle across the street yesterday. Really good, I think they’re better than the bowls. Then I bought No Country for Old Men on Amazon Prime but didn’t watch it. I have another day.

The LED tubes for the kitchen came on Saturday. I decided not to try to put them up then because by that point I had a couple of drinks inside me. On Sunday, almost sober, I climbed the stepladder and put them in. They didn’t work. What’s more, one of them makes a clinking sound, like a dead lightbulb. And when I took the tubes out, they were a little cracked at the ends by the prongs. Plastic. The fluorescent tubes have metallic or ceramic caps. So these tubes have to go back to Home Depot. And I’m beginning to think the fluorescents weren’t worn out at all. It’s the fixture, the wiring, that’s bad. How do I tell? I pick up a cheap fixture and see if they work.

I have to go to Brooklyn around noon to do some flyering, 1-5. We meet at a Coffee Land near Grand Army Plaza. I hope I won’t be feeling awfully sick and weak. Starting in on some coffee just now.

Messages flashing on Teams or Deputy. We’re not to bring any backpacks to the HM this weekend, and should avoid bringing bags to the Expo as well (I’m working Friday, morning and early afternoon). National Weather Service forecasts temps beween 28º and 60º on Friday, 47º to 72º Sunday. Jen saying something about carrying a Lululemon crossbody bag. I had a very nice Lululemon “festival” bag ten years ago, all gone now. It was bright dayglo yellow, got dirty and I couldn’t clean it. Maybe one of Moki’s special bags will work. Otherwise I can carry things in the inside pockets of the Patagonia, and keys and cards as usual around my waist. The thin little thing or that black webbed one from Aeropod, or whatever. (Go to check.) Amphipod. The zipper is stuck. Get pliers and give it a tug. There. Got some WD-40 as well.

Along with the vodka and paint on Saturday I got a package of L’Oreal root touch-up, medium brown, at CVS on Tenth. Going to put that on in an hour (around 9:30), let it sit under a cap for an hour. Then a shower and shampoo after rinsing it out. Dry in the big bathroom, maybe.

No more vodka this week. I haven’t picked up a pen but I wouldn’t be surprised if my handwriting is a mess. It took me so long to figure that out. Urrgh.

Was FB messaging with Grimm the other day. I honestly was inquiring about getting some tina. He says it’s a lot cheaper but not really very good, and made in Mexico.


Postscript, 7pm. Feet hurt like the dickens after trudging around in the red Magic Racer for at least five miles in the Eastern Parkway area of Brooklyn. Nice blonde girl in her early 20s, from Cincinnati and a Cincinnati Reds cap, accompanied me on our flyer expedition. Mainly a slummy part of Brooklyn with an awful lot of nogs, and since it adjoins Crown Heights, there are a lot of ultra-orthodox there as well, and Torah schools. The blocks between avenues along Eastern Parkway seem to be nearly a half-mile long each.

Brooklyn, our flyering area. The pin at left is the coffeeshop where we met.

Actually they’re 1000 ft. Meaning it’s over a mile between Franklin and Kingston, and we walked them both, directly, twice, and another couple of miles within our flyer area of about 30 blocks. And then another couple miles for me from the 7th Ave Q train near Park Pl and Sterling Pl to the tiny Coffeeland coffeeshop where we met at 1pm. Deo gratias, there’s an IRT station right beside it. From 5pm I rode the 5 train to Union Square and then the N to 57th St.

Stopped at Morton Williams for milk and cheap pot pies. I’m thinking of going out to Shirley’s for cheap red plonk if she has any. Then maybe come back and watch that film.


Knackered Again by Weekend Work. And Rats Still Hanging About.

It rained on Thursday and Friday. I did not go for a run, nor yet go to the gym, but did walk down to the post office to mail the envelope to Marc J. Bern LLP. The exterminators and Chris were back in at midday Thursday, and I told them a rat had been trying to gnaw through the wall between the radiator and the electrical plug. Somebody looked at the door to the heating pipe, SW corner of living room, behind Moki’s desk, opened it and resealed it. More recently, as in around 2am Sunday morning (early yesterday) there was a rat scratching and gnawing there. Haven’t heard them anywhere else.

Dishwasher not reattached yet. I’m washing up by hand, a few at a time.

Friday I wanted to watch My Favorite Year for some reason. Saw it mentioned on social media. Rented it and watched it twice over the next two days. Early Saturday morning I found myself painting the pantry and bits of the kitchen with the Brandied Crimson semi-gloss. All those bare plaster chips annoyed me.

F train to Prospect Park at around 3:30 yesterday (Sunday the 14th). It was late, got to Bartel-Pritchard Square around 4:25. In the park at 4:30, clocked in on Deputy. Followed the familiar paths and roads down the hill to Center Drive—familiar enough even in the darkness, with a few streetlights overhead—where orange vests and a truck were collecting. Walked almost all the way to East Drive when I ran into a little blond girl, and we found we were both lost, looking for the Festival area. On the map I thought the Festival area was north of Center Drive, but this was an orientation problem, with a close-up map turned 90º. It was south of Center Drive. I helped a little to unload one of the trucks. By 5:30 we were setting up tents. With the wet cold ground my feet were soon suffering, though nothing like February in Central Park. There were Hot Hands in one of our plastic crates. I took out of couple of packages and stuck warmers into my sneakers.

I was on Bib duty, and in place by 7am. Very complicated duty, this. There’s a funny little app you access through the nruns site. You scan the runner’s QR code (or, failing that, enter a string for the name), see that the person is indeed registered, then take out a bib number for whichever race (both 5k and 10M today) and scan the QR code on that. If all goes well, and three-quarters of the time that was the case, you can just hand the bib number over to the runner with a smile. I expect there are still bugs in the system. I came across a sheaf of bib numbers that were out of sequence. They had apparently been canceled or reregistered, and when I scanned them on the app I got somebody else’s name. Eventually I was told simply to reassign the number, but it all seemed flaky to me. Was somewhat annoyed at the oriental woman who was chivvying us about.

At Bibs until 9:30, then we broke the tents and tables down, and I was put on bag-check-retrieval duty, and then finally handed out apples for an hour or two. Then took down more tents and carried some really heavy stuff from the Solutions zone to a truck parked 150m away on Center Drive.

It was getting warm. Took off the Patagonia jacket, put it in the Turkey Trot half-knapsack. I’ve decided that wearing that Turkey Trot thing is pinching a nerve in my left shoulder, however I wear it. Next time I carry a plain old spike bag. Do I have one without any branding?

Took a cinnamon-raisin bagel and a couple of apples while I was working those tables. The Turkey Trot was getting a little heavy. Some of us were told we could vamoose at 12:30, though our shift ended at 2pm. To add time I decided to exit via East Drive, reversing my entrance when I’d come here for the Turkey Trot races and the Al Goldstein summer series 5k. That somehow would lead to the Q train.* I missed the path turnoff (think I should have turned at the carousel) and ended up across from the Botanical Gardens and down the road from the library. Very bushed, with painful feet. Sat down on a bench by the Parkway and found some things I could toss out (water bottle; blue delineator tape). Took the Hot Hands out of my sneakers. Clocked out of the shift (had a hard time finding the button).

Instead of checking Google Maps and heading down to the Q train, I went on past the library, past Grand Army Plaza, and finally found an IRT station with the 2 and 3 express trains. Took one to 14th St. I was a bit confused and thought I could switch to the BMT at 14th St., but this was 14th and 7th Ave., not Union Square. I followed the signs to the F train, a block away underground, but the stairway was blocked. Back to the IRT and on to 42nd St. where I changed to the R. Emerged in bright sunlight at Carnegie Hall, with no sunglasses. Had I lost them? (Fortunately, no.) Went home, dumped my weary load, went out to the Chinawoman’s for another half-pint. (I’d had one on Saturday night to help sleep.)

The sciatica, or whatever it is in the hips, is still around occasionally. I keep the shillelagh nearby.

I don”t have another big race to work for two weeks, though a couple of small related shifts before the Brooklyn HM. In May I have back-to-back days on Gov Is. I should be quite wrecked by that if I don’t get into perfect shape in the meantime.

Missed Mass, said novena to St J before midnight.

Pain in far-left top incisor. The one Dr. Choe the nasty Chinese periodontist said I was losing, along with half my other upper teeth. I may have a trial appt with some Russian Jewess over on E 63rd on the 22nd. This is from responding to a FB ad, so who knows? I am looking for second opinions.

Have a piece on Dwight Macdonald half-finished. Must polish off the redo of W Robertson and send it in today. Also remember invoice for this and the Brasillach. Then the DM piece and the other Birchers book. Then maybe something on The Truth Seeker.

Postscript: The hand-delivered letter from Jeffries Morris, taken to me in the rain that Friday (the 12th) is actually dated the 14th, Sunday. It’s still sitting there on the desk. I am being told that I am eligible for lease renewal, which doesn’t actually come up for a year and a half. How I’m going to find the $25,000 or whatever in back rent is the only question. Get job, get real job.

*The Q train is way farther south, south of where Center Drive meets East Drive, and the proper path leads toward Well House Road.


Chips and Chats

Five in the morning. I’ve taped up some paint chips, literal paint chips, from the living room and bedroom. Taped them to a piece of paper and put them in a big Ziplok with a piece of shirt cardboard for stiffness. These are the paint colors for which we do not have some paint left over from 1998 and later redos. We do have the Brandied Crimson (though in semigloss, not the flat originally used; this shows up around the Sneem picture), and the Queen Anne Pink or whatever for my bathroom and the grey for Moki’s bathroom. But the light tawny sage for the living room and the deep forest green for the bedroom, we don’t have those. It’s been peeling here and there for a while. I think when I took the Charlie Hebdo pix on 7 Jan 2015 you could already see a bit peeling on the west wall above the window. I am going to go to Janovic Plaza and find out how much a quart of these will set me back. There used to be one on 9th Ave near 52nd St but now there’s just the one in SoHo on Sixth Avenue near Spring. (What is the new real estate term for the neighborhood west of this? Hudson Square!)

The Marc J. Berns firm sends me a form to sign giving permission for MSK to provide medical records. Should have been done months ago. The firm, I see, is in the same building as the Sherwin Belkin one, but 9th fl rather than 16th. 60 East 42nd. I should alert the firm and MSK that the records may have a dob of 1958 since that’s what the ID said.

The dishwasher does not work. Chris was supposed to come up late afternoon but didn’t. He’ll come at some inopportune time today, no doubt, and act peeved. Dishwasher is off because they flicked the circuit breaker, pulled out the appliance and disconnected it on Friday, right after my last wash. Red insulator caps on the counter. I don’t mind washing dishes in the sink for a while, but would have appreciated being told.

Scraping, gnawing sounds in the wall by the radiator (bedroom). Gosh, can’t imagine what that is.

The $1900 transfer from the Amazon Chase Visa card finally hit the USAA acct. This means in theory I have a cushion for paying the rent next month (and with any luck and a real job, thereafter). The April rent check has not cleared. Maybe not been deposited.

I’ve looked through one or two of my notebooks from the early 00’s. There’s the spiral-bound one from Muji, bought in Paris probably. This was the time I was in Rouen, Sept 2002, writing Dizz and Terry, and then in Oxford and London with Keith and Sylvia in October-November. Northmoor. The Old Barks Hunt. The Vale of the White Horse and the Dragon’s Tears. The Souk on that fiercely rainy night and then The Mousetrap. I find I make a reference to Bronxville, the vicinity of 35 Park View. Were we three there in summer or fall of 2002? Must ask.

Strange caricature of Moki on the cover of this notebook. Moki on his HP Pavilion, big monitor, looking at obituary of Walter Bedell Smith. That obituary may or may not date the drawing. (Well no, he died in 1961, so that can’t be it.) Moki didn’t know Walter Bedell Smith, but did once meet Sally Bedell Smith, who strangely was no relation.

If the weather’s nice and clear this early morn, I’m going to the park to pretend to run.

First, notes and outline for Dwight Macdonald.

The gnawing rat comes back again and again.




After the Eclipse, and the Weather Is Beautiful

Didn’t really see the eclipse yesterday. Crowds were gathered around 56th and 57th Streets, 7th and 8th Avenues, yesterday around 3pm. I glanced up and it was just the Sun behind some clouds. I was on my way to the hardware store on 9th to see if they had odd-sized hex wrenches. They did, but not the 7mm or 5/16″ ones I thought I wanted. Bought a $5 packet of metric ones, hoping the 6mm or 8mm would do the job. And they did! I was able to take the desk apart in less than a half-hour! The top hex screws took 8mm’s and the side ones took 6mm’s. Which further raises the mystery of how I put the thing together in the first place, since I couldn’t find proper hex wrenches around the apartment. Having no specific memory of the time (late 2008? early 2009?) I can only speculate that we had a lot of bicycle tools about, and they included metric hex wrenches. But where are they today?

The rat exterminators were in last Friday and again today (Tuesday). They sealed up holes in closets, a heating pipe access door in the corner behind Moki’s desk, and the radiators. I think they’re coming back once more. And I have not seen any new rats since their Friday visit.

A pleasant relief, an amazingly pleasant relief this morning when I forced myself to open the lawyers’ Certified Mail letter to me that arrived a week ago. It’s about the lease and tenancy since Moki’s death. Well, they just want to know the relationship and how I may be entitled to carry on the tenancy. And was I the executrix or did I know who was. Phoned the lawyer (Barkin? Berkin?) back, he called back leaving his mobile number, finally we connected. Meek little Jewish fellow, sounds like. Seems relieved that M and I were married, because all he has to do is pass that confirmation on to Jeffries Morris (landlord). I wrote a little letter and sent a copy of the marriage license to him, at 60 East 42nd Street, mailed it from Rock Ctr Station.

The upshot to all this is that landlord and I are at least in communication, they’re not about to throw me out promptly, and maybe I can find a way to raise a year of back rent. All it would take would be me working for a year. Working in a real job, full-time, or even two part-times, and writing up a shitload, and maybe even lucking into that VCF settlement. Or getting money from welfare on the grounds that I am old and destitute.

Made myself strange soft burgers this afternoon with half a can of black beans, some ground beef, onions, breadcrumbs and various spices. Have been thinking about this for a while. Mixed together in the baby Cuisinart, grilled on the Cuisinart clamshell griddle, served on Arnold sandwich thins. Insipid consistency from all that maceration in the food processor, but edible and I suppose nutritious.

Doctor Dan died a month ago. I just found out last week. He had a memorial service at our favorite church, Fifth Avenue Presbyterian. Where we often attended the Foglifters AA meetings.

Much beloved by the staff here. His brother Richard’s been around, living in the apartment (3-O), and I think packing up today. Hoped to meet him but I guess I never will. Just as Dan kept saying we should all have lunch together, Michael and him and me, and Rae when she was still part of the scene (Alzheimer’s creeping in a few years ago), and time after time I said yes, but we never did. Last time I spoke to him was in the lobby. His colored caretaker was taking him for a walk with one of those rolling walkers, and then I saw him coming back, sitting in the device’s seat. Couldn’t walk far at that point, I guess. This would have been perhaps a year, two years ago.

Rae Baymiller, Dan Hamner

I was thinking of those walker-seats when Moki stopped walking last summer. I could go down to Bigelow’s orthopedic department on the second floor and get him one of those gadgets. I didn’t, and if I did he probably would never have used it, and it would have quickened his death.

I do miss him so much. What I’ve said for over four months is still true. I’d rather have him here, messy and in bed and barely awake when awake at all, than not have him at all. In those last weeks I still entertained the idea that I was going to pray him back to health. And maybe I could have. He made noises about maybe going to Mass together with me, and I pooh-poohed this because it was such a trial just for me to go to St. Paul the Apostle’s. This I truly regret. He might have liked it. It might have done the trick.

He even mentioned the possibility of getting married in the Lady Chapel at St. Patrick’s. We talked about this repeatedly over the years. We couldn’t have afforded it, not toward the end, certainly, and I doubted I was up for making the arrangements for a formal wedding. And maybe I thought my family would think slightly perverse to get married at the same place my parents had married 60-odd years before. Then the years slipped by and I had no birth family at all. My mother gone, and aunts and uncles gone, my sister gone, her husband gone, my brother Patrick killed on the highway long before any of them. Tim still around, Claire still around, but we don’t talk and I don’t really know them. And now what little family I had in Moki is gone as well. I am tearing up, badly, for the first time in weeks. Need to go out and buy some V.

Half pint last night, I think half pint night before. Whole pint on Saturday night because I was knackered from Governor’s Island, with the long waits for the ferry, the carrying heavy loads in the wind and drizzle and hail, and sore feet from the yellow Kinvara’s that I bought on the cheap in 2013 in Red Bank (Sheehan Classic) but maybe have hardened up over the years.

Delighted to find a handwritten letter from Amy Bishop Anderson, in her max-security women’s prison down in Alabama. Turns out she stayed in touch with Rob Dinsmoor and his sister Mara over the years, and Mara informed him that Rob had a stroke after Christmas. Mara’s having a lunch up in Laconia NH in June or July. I may go if I can. I learned about this on FB. Mara’s running the Rob account. I posted a mention of the letter from Amy, and how she doesn’t have internet “at her place of business.”

Finally finished the Yockey proofreading chore for Greg. This was the last part of Imperium. He added many footnote glosses and rationalized the punctuation and spelling. I advised him that the word ‘technics’ in the 1948 original should not be converted to ‘techniques.’ But that the word ‘technic’ which for some reason appeared in the original should indeed be revised to ‘technique,’ as it has been.

I did this work for free. I also did a bit of newspaper and genealogical research for him. Perhaps he’ll give me an honorarium. He hasn’t even paid for the Brasillach that went up last week.

A lot of email exchanges with Laura last week, some occasioned by the fact that I had to sit around and wait for the exterminators on Friday. She asked me about the earthquake in New York. Yes, there was a faint tremor of a few seconds that I felt late morning while waiting for the exterminators. Didn’t realize it truly was a quake till I saw news reports a few hours later. And then Laura mentioning it and remarking that I had said nothing in my email about it. Other things we talked about were Laura’s revived hopes to get money out of her father’s estate, if there’s any left. And Terri Jentz, whom she seems to remember I was obsessed by, back in the day.



Had Good Sleep, Have Lots of Tremors

Took a Trazodone last night, the 2nd, and slept till after 1:30 pm

Spent much of the day moving belongings from tubs to tubs. Moved sofa forward about a foot or so. Lots of rat droppings exposed. Out with the Dirt Devil.

Before that, spent an hour wrapping and delivering the Eldo II spikes, bought for a song by some wog named Hussein in Massachusetts. Walked down to Rock Ctr Station in the blistering cold rain. Needed my slicker and my umbrella and still my hands were cold.

The letter from blahblah & Goldman sits on the Moki desk, unopened. Must open it in the morning and reply, and/or send a check. I cannot pay for more than a month’s rent. In a few weeks, another month’s rent. That’s all.

In some anger I went out in the freezing rain again, bought a pint, and POM and an awful Red Baron frozen pizza (last at Duane Reade). The pizza was filling and not too bad, but not good for me, of course. I can’t run these days. Serious rain, pelting constantly, not a drizzle, SW corner of 57th and 6th a vast puddle you have to walk around.

I signed up for the Sheehan Classic in Perth Amboy (or whatever, Asbury Park) on Monday and have 3-4 months to get into shape. Last night (Tuesday) getting very mad at this Heylo thing that CPTC is using. No reply on the web or email. Works a little better on the mobile app. We’ll see.

Did I mention last night I moved the printer to the Moki desk? That was major. On Friday (Christian tells me by intercom) the real exterminator comes by to seal up the radiators.

In the Teams call on Monday night I learned I only have to be at the Gov Is ferry terminal at 5:45. All’s well after that. I have work with nycr almost every weekend from now through June.

Postscript, morning of the 3rd: I also sorted through a bit of the Moki files. There were the ones left on and beside the sofa, which I’ve looked through before (bball, NYAC, Indianapolis (M’s firing in the local paper in 1979), M’s self-improvement notes over the years, manila envelopes with his tax returns going back to the 1960s (amazing how little he made at the Celtics and the NBA; of course he only needed that for bare living expenses). A lot of these I dumped in the bottom red file drawer. A few I tossed, such as NYAC bball schedules and an NBA catalogue from the 1970s. I went through some of the top red file drawer and looked for papers to toss. There were three that Moki had marked or sealed with a bulldog clip. All from around 2009, relating to consumer debt, which he kept following up on and challenging the debt collectors in court. At least two of the three got dismissed. I ripped these up (our shredder is long gone) and put them in the trash. Also the pages from a looseleaf address book. Moki must have kept that a long time. It’s got Miss Kipper and Anne-Marie Durdon and Rick Mudrinich, Richard Duignan, Brian and Eileen Burns, Young Danny’s family, Liz & Paul Kirby… I looked to see if I was anywhere in there. I wasn’t. I think I did once find my name from the long-ago days in 85-86, Manhattan and Hoboken.

Funny I remember he rented a car for me, from way up in Yorkville, when I had finished the major part of the move. I suppose I had a few things left at 170 Second. More than I could carry in a sack on the PATH, I guess. But what? It was a long brown sedan. Afterwards we gassed it up, returned it up in Yorkville, and had lunch in a gastropub nearby. Named Hanratty’s, I think. Casting my mind back that far, over 38 years, reminds me how close we really were. This would be early January 1986. We saw a lot of each other for the next 2-3 months, than zippo. Once we went to see Brazil (2nd time for me) which he really didn’t care for, and then The Jaunting Car, another Irish pub that I think i had been to with Ted O’Keefe. Later I had an ill-paying temp job at DDB Worldwide, 49th and Madison, and would come and see and/or stay with him. His TV tables and the canneloni from Pasta & Cheese. Elizabeth Knight, and the English professor from NYU (or Columbia) with whom M discussed the Wallace Shawn play that M had bought a copy of but hadn’t seen yet, Aunt Dan and Lemon; and Sherita was over once, first time back since the marshall kicked her out. Down to Florida, and off the cocaine. Michael had the lights turned down so far it was as though we were in near-total darkness with just a circle of dim light that we sat in. He never improved the lighting situation, it just got worse.

Funny too, I can’t remember my address in Hoboken, 1986-1990. 1109 Washington Street? I’m even not sure of my second H address. 928 Hudson?

Now I’m getting emptyheaded notifications on the mobile from Heylo.


Happy Easter and Day of Remembrance

Easter and Brasillach’s birthday. I wrote up something for CC, with about 1500 words of translation from Notre avant-guerre, don’t know if it’s appeared. Have to do some proofing for the new edition of the Varange. I answered some more questions for Greg re citations for the new Imperium, but he came back asking for actual newspaper article from ChiTrib 1915, which I had and did send him, last night.

Tried calling A.T. in the afternoon, no answer. Maybe out for Easter lunch? Wanted to tell her I’d heard from cousin Helen. Helen’s responding to my letter of two weeks ago. She’s moved from Brussels to Taos. She’s got a daughter in Santa Fe. Invites me to visit. Something I should plan on doing before many months have passed, as H won’t around forever. One of those many relatives we have left, who are not blood relations.

Went to Easter Mass at St. P’s but they were just beginning when I got there at 5:40 and it looked as though it was going on forever. Worse yet, they’d cordoned off the egress to the Lady Chapel, and the rest of the Cathedral was jammed. I made my prayer at the St Jude shine and vamoosed. Said a rosary to myself. Walked up to St. PA’s. And wouldn’t you know it? They were just beginning their Easter Mass which was going to take forever. So I left after a few minutes. Went to the Morton Williams on 9th, bought a half chicken and milk, cranberry sauce, frozen broccoli. To CVS for Pom. To the Chinawoman’s for a half pint of Pinnacle for $5.

Was going to repaint the chipped-away paint in the living room, above the pantry entrance, but it turns out we don’t have that paint. I chipped off the peeling-away paint yesterday. I tried to look up the paint number in old diaries, but couldn’t find it.

Dottie called me yesterday. I don’t remember quite why. I gave her a toaster on Wednesday. It was Moki’s Oster toaster, which he seldom used. I used it a few times during his last weeks, making myself some Waygu steak sandwiches which he rejected. Not eating anything then, around ten days before he died. I spent a good long while cleaning it up and testing it out again. Very crumby and greasy.

I drank a lot of red wine with Dottie Wed afternoon. When I left it was around five, and I was due to meet some nycr folks at a happy hour in a brewery concession in Brooklyn, near the DeKalb Avenue stop. Easy enough to get to from the R train at 8th St, but it was drizzling, and after the wine I did not feel in the mood.

Dottie happy to hear I have some bitsy part-time work. Work of any kind is beyond her ken these days. She wants me to accompany her to Washington Square Park where we can buy fentanyl from the drug dealers she hears abound there. That will be her rescue (suicide) lot. Dottie has a nice new pair of dentures, which she took out to show me, and put back in, while sitting at her desk.

Looking at my nycruns schedule, I see I’ve got 33 hrs for April. Very busy, beginning in a week at Gov’s Island. How the hell you get to Gov’s Island at 5 in the morning is anyone’s guess. I’ll have to ask that during the online meeting tomorrow. 6:30pm. I’m going to guess I need to go to Brooklyn and take a ferry from there.

James Henighan or whatever the building manager’s, name is came to see me at 10:30 am Friday. Hears I need exterminator to seal up pipes for mice. Actually it’s rats. Tomorrow, Monday, we set a date, supposedly. I’m going for a run tomorrow, regardless. I haven’t attempted anything for a week or more.

Register for Sheehan 5k Asbury Park by tomorrow. $40. How does one get there? I have to find hotel, I think. Aug 10th.

Must pay rent, for one paltry month anyway. This week.

Peter B sounds pretty desperate at Vd. The negress judge is tightening the screws.

Now over 4 months since Moki went. What were we doing on October 31, I wonder? Halloween. Did we notice it at all?


A Dream of TV

Somehow the pt job with the running company led to another one in a TV studio. No sooner did I show up than they told me the schedules were all scrambled and they’d need me more than they thought. Immediately I got kicked upstairs, riding the hi-speed elevator up 30 Rock (because it seems that’s where we were).

That’s it. That’s the dream. Nothing more except constant anxiety about showing up for work.


Comedy of Errors

I have used the lighted commode seat a couple of times now. Not again for a while—out of TP for that bathroom. Bought some paper towels earlier today, but no TP. While sitting on the seat for the second time, noonish, I suddenly reflected that there was a connection between Moki’s collection of household cleaners (usually in big spray bottles) and the mysterious scat life. While thinking about this I looked down and noticed I had shat in my pants. The pants in question were the red Brooks running shorts (circa 2005). It was one of those cases of the runs where you can see you were eating birchermuesli in the past day. That in fact is all I ate, other than 16 little sushi bites from Klein’s yesterday evening. And a big banana I had this morning. Also drank a lot of strong tea, which may account for this diarrhea. Anyway, while still seated I struggled to get out of my shoes and running tights (circa 2007) which I was wearing over the shorts. Then took the shorts into the powder room, where I wash clothes in the sink (often enough for such reasons as this), put the shorts in the sink, ran water, and got the Persil.

I’d gone to Klein’s for paper towels and a few other items because I suddenly found myself reading Irish soda bread recipes and wanted to make some. So I got more baking soda, and milk, and yoghurt (mixing this and some apple cider vinegar with a pint of regular milk as substitute for buttermilk) and raisins rather than sultanas or currants, and some Kerrygold Reserve cheddar because I really felt like some cheese. At home, after changing my underwear, I combined about three different recipes, ending up using much of my whole wheat flour (3 cups) and the White Lily (3 cups). Added some white sugar and dark brown sugar. I was mixing in the ersatz buttermilk when I again stepped onto the great big rat glueboard. This time the ruined sock was one of Moki’s All Blacks socks. It’s not gone forever; I cut off the toes, and since the socks are roomy I’ll be able to sew them up with a simple stitch. The serious problem here is that I flipped the glueboard while trying to get free, so about half of the glue was adhering to the linoleum kitchen floor. I tore away bits of the cardboard, but this wasn’t going to do the trick. To the medicine cabinet for nail-polish remover (non-acetone, unfortunately) and then to the pantry closet for isopropyl. With a utility knife I sliced up the remaining glueboard. When it was sufficiently soaked in remover and alcohol, I put on rubber gloves, and with a paper towel as insulation was able to get up 99% percent of it, bit by bit. Still a little tackiness there.

I was in the middle of that when I became aware of a running faucet in the bathroom. I’d left the tap on for a few minutes and now it was overflowing. So grabbed some towels and threw them on the floor. The red shots are still sitting in the sink, even as I speak.

I put the dough into the dutch-oven-like pot I have, formed it roughly into a dome on a layer of parchment paper, stuck it in the 400º oven. I have now removed it, put it on the hob, paper and all, too cool. It will be a miracle if this stuff is edible.

Drinking more tea, reheated. Watching a Columbo episode with Patrick McGoohan playing a headmaster of a military academy. For some reason I wanted to watch all the Columbo episodes with Patrick McGoohan. He starred in four, and directed a couple of others.

It occurs to me that it is time to move that terrible flimsy metal etagere shelving Moki put next to his bathroom door. I will put it just east of Moki’s night table. Right now all I’ve got there is my little red clamshell suitcase. I’ll toss out all of Moki’s shoes on the rack, any other detritus I don’t want, and make for clear egress to the big en suite bathroom.

I don’t remember when Moki put it there. What I do remember is that in his last months he often gripped it for support when going to and from the bathroom. Often enough he’d bring it down upon himself. In late September he ended up resting on the floor for much of the morning. I had a hell of a time getting him back into bed. After that I guess he never used a bathroom again. I bought him a pair of urine bottles, with which he’d make a mess, because around the last time he pulled down the wire shelves I’d caught him peeing into a wastebasket. I told him no, and removed the receptacle so he couldn’t. I think this is why he going into the bathroom that day.

Drank a pint of Smirnoff last night with no ill effects. Kept the bathroom door shut, but not the hall door to the living room, because I don’t want our rodent friends to come visiting me in bed again, or digging up the carpet in an attempt to burrow into the living room.


Bread seems okay. Maybe a little soggy in the middle?

It’s been raining all day. Too bad it’s warm suddenly (50º), I could do with a nice early-spring blizzard.



Trainspotting, The Rat Catcher, and the Scat

As I may have mentioned earlier, I have been plagued by a rat problem for the past two or three months. I asked some of the maintenance staff if other tenants had had complained of this, and I apparently am the first. We had mice in the summer of course, and I bagged 11 with the Tomcat traps; but these are great big rats.

Perhaps because my apartment is near the elevator, and there are all sorts of little passageways around the building core. And I’m only 7 floors up in a 20-storey building, so this is as high as the rats can climb. I’ve had rats recently because of cold weather and all the construction on neighboring blocks: that’s another pair of rationales. Yesterday, walking up the West 57th incline, I noticed that the toothpick tower going up on the site of the old Calvary Baptist Church (Pastor: David Epstein) is already way up there, approaching the heights of the one over the old Steinway/Economist building (111 West 57th) and the older Hyatt 157 West 57th on either sides of it.

So rats we have. And today Jamie, one of the maintenance men, was there with a dark round-faced Amerindian or mestizo who’s the extermination expert. Very friendly. I showed the droppings in the corner (most had been been vacuumed up) and the egress points by the radiator. He laid down some glue boards (great big ones; I lost a sock while pouring myself a mug of milk a couple hours ago) and took some pictures, and will be sending someone by in a day or so. One person specializes in sealing up radiators.

Knowing these people would be coming by this morning, I made an effort to clean the apartment. Vacuum a little, and mop the kitchen floor. Going to the utility closet, I couldn’t find the squeegee I used last time, the one I bought at HomeDepot last July. I rummaged around in the utility closet, and as it suddenly occurred to me that I’d last used the squeegee in Moki’s bathroom, mine eyes lighted upon a big flat Kohler box in a Lowe’s bag, containing a toilet seat.

A toilet seat! Could this be Moki’s old toilet seat, the original one he took off when he bought some super-duper lighted LED seat? No, this seemed to be new, and sealed. I opened it up. All the parts were there, and instructions. This was a new seat, never installed. I took it into the Moki bathroom and started to install it. That did not take long.

Seat installed. Scat scene not completely cleaned.

I found two D batteries in one of Moki’s drawers in our captain’s bed. In the same baggie was the remnant of the scent pods used by this model of toilet seat. Yes, it’s a battery-operated, scented toilet seat. So this left me with three possibilities:

  • Moki installed a seat like this, or rather had it installed by building personnel. Then ripped it out, didn’t like it, threw it out. This is the story he told me. Hence the D batteries and scent pod. Then he repented, went back to Lowe’s, bought another one. But never had it installed. Or mentioned it to me. Which it why it was a surprise to me today. And to think I came close to buying a replacement seat for $35 at Target!
  • Moki originally bought two of these seats. One for me. The one I just put onto Moki’s cistern was intended for me. But he never mentioned this at all to me.
  • Moki may have bought one or two seats originally. Doesn’t matter. But after he installed his seat, he got heavily into a “scat” scene, finding insalubrious toilets, with a lot of shit all over the place, very erotic. This would account for all the filth and toilet rolls and brown encrustations on the floor and around the commode, which I have not yet succeeded in cleaning up.

I’m afraid the third possibility is most likely. As I almost never went into Moki’s bathroom, I don’t have the timeline of the toilet seats or the filth. I certainly noticed the filth when fixing the toilet in October 2022 and I saw that it was worse in October and November 2023. When did he buy and install that lighted, scented toilet seat, anyway? Back in 2011, around the beginning of the madness when he bought the SentrySafe? Or more recently? You see, I don’t recall him talking about it at the time, merely speaking of it in retrospect. How he hated it and tore it out.

In the morning, resenting the need to get up in a few hours and clean up a bit for the rat-catchers, I watched the first half of Trainspotting after finishing The Great Escape. I loved this film in London in early 1996, not so much now. The Worst Toilet in Scotland episode, high hilarity, seemed very apt, putting me in mind of Moki’s filthy loo. But I had not yet connected the dots and considered that it was an actual scat scene Moki was promoting at some point.


And when was that? Well the answers will be in his text messages and perhaps email. I vaguely recall something like that in texts and photos only a year or two ago.