January 14th

It was interesting, the world's sudden brief love affair with New York. A city which everyone either hates or loves, and it's because either you didn't make it in New York or you think you couldn't or you did or you think you could. In that way, it's the most truly American city on the continent. And because it is where people go because they think they can become something unbelievable. Because they think their lives can change. California is where you go to get rich quick, to strike gold, to find paradise. New York is not interested in any other world than this one. No book of judgement, no angels, no virgins. Just the cramped dark streets and tall ungainly buildings that no one who lives here even notices. That was what was incredible about the Twin Towers. New Yorkers don't go to the Twin Towers, unless they work in them. Didn't go. Like the Statue of Liberty. It's someplace you take out-of-town guests. But unlike the Statue of Liberty, they didn't even merit an elementary school field trip. Yes, I had walked through the lobby, on my way to other places. Century 21, my fabulous discount department store. The 6 to the N/R to Cortlandt Street, and then out into a world that's now a wasteland. Not that I have been down to gape. I eschew tourist attractions. There's a motto for you. Tourist attractions and funeral pyres.

Here is something interesting. I recently went through a huge stack of my bank statements. I was going to do July, August, and September in one fell swoop, but my statement date was September 13th, and I never got around to it until last night. On the statement dated September 14 through October 13, I did not write a single check. No Visa bill, no library fines, no third-quarter estimated taxes for the State of New York. I remember that I considered calling my bank and telling them that I lived in Manhattan and trying to get them to waive the nonpayment fee on my Visa bill out of sympathy. But I did not. I am proud of this. And I was extremely proud of Rudy Giuliani when he returned the millions from the Saudi prince who had the nerve to think that he could buy us. And by the way, what was up with that black congresswoman who wrote a very sycophantic letter to said Saudi prince and asked him to give the millions to help African-American children. Militant Arabs hate the Jews. Militant African-Americans hate the Jews. Fate, or coincidence?

Now, now. Of course it was a coincidence. Of course it was.