outwait outrun outwit


an archive of pleasures, wounds, sublimations
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10.23.07, tuesday evening

My friend's Harlem apartment has a great bank of windows that overlooks Tuck-It-Away Storage, a car wash, an overpass, a housing project, the George Washington Bridge. On the lit, gigantic billboard above the Cotton Club, a black woman is smiling with her feet up; Be like her . . . Live Rent Free! You see swift bicyclists, speedy cars, red bursting lights, drifting newspapers, boarded-up windows on an otherwise beautiful brick building. I could look out of this window all day, so I must shut the blinds, to look inward, into the wilderness of my persistent but unstable imagination.

Inside are white bare walls, a bed in the corner, polished wood floors. A lei of plastic flowers hangs over the inoperative keyhole. The friend is away, learning how to craft stories from gestures visual and aural. Make every object tell the story.

With the windows shut tight, querulous sound is reduced: humming laptop, ticking clock, typing. A human sigh, drawn out of a book. Clink, from a key slowly falling over on the desk. Time slows in a place like this, where you have no choice but to conduct some head-cleaning. De-clutter the heart, if you can. Monastic: austere, meditative, pleasure only in work. Obsession for or absorption by the thing, the being, that one studies, i.e. the story.


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