Dec 232012

On the Street    (Started March 21, 1995)

The couple drinking or spooning the longest, richest, thickest drinks are from New York – you can tell – or maybe Florida. It’s the white legs that look like tusk, white ivory, but not pure and appealing like a maiden of youth, grey and pallid like the sickness of cosmopolitan, city denial.

Two who chatter are adopting the pose of the concerned adult – they are hardly adults yet, luckily for them, there is so often a brilliant haze of self-conscious posing by teenagers and young adults here, so much must be shown. In teenage, in adolescence it is hardly new, one is endlessly at fever pitch, tightly strung in awareness of how I look, how I seem, sound, smell, appear, move, as if on a perpetual performance always in the lead role and always at the most dramatic moment of crisis. Alive on a knife edge.

One is sitting legs folded under her, long lashes of hair fall in a self-concealing way, like the ear-pieces of a Roman sentry’s helmet, to protect, to help make her disappear at the most embarrassing moments. Her friend is more relaxed, looks but may not be, older. The friend is wearing a baseball cap the right way round, this even seems notable for a girl in the reverse of the gang uniform-become-fashion that is so common, and she is fuller, a body more pliant and lush, less stretched and tense. Passing time, that’s what they do, that’s what they have to do here, there’s not so much else at that age (oh bull!) when it’s all, every minute, every second of that minute, all day every day and sometimes all night, peak performance “what’s happening?”. Strange as I think that, because I think suddenly that it’s always been like that for me, what’s happening?

A woman sitting behind me reads a book with the title “An Artist’s Life” – or similar, she’s not attractive in an immediate sense and I haven’t spent the time to see if a longer look makes her seem better, or interesting somehow! She does not “seem” like an artist either – there’s no vibration of that, no sliding and slipping, everything held and planned the female version of the Swiss watch on chips.