Since I am not the type that feels particularly sentimental about the past year, the year I got grayer, flabbier, ditched, and officially arthritic, I welcome moving forward albeit a bit more like the Little Old Lady from Pasadena than Jagger. My first text of 2013 was a few lines of heartfelt verse sent in the afternoon on New Year’s Day to one of the stars in my posse, my trusted confidant, Coco.
Me (text): Are you up and not too hung over? If so, can you get me a pair of six eyelet black shoelaces at the Converse store in your ‘hood for my black Jack Purcells? I’ll pay you back tmr. Thanks and Happy New Year.
Adhering to the topic like Teflon she responds:
Coco (text): Hugh Hefner is married and Kim Kardashian is preggers. Fuck. The Mayans have won.
I then venture outside, not for shoelaces, but for a bagel knot at my anything but super, market, Fairway.
There, I predictably encounter my first asshole of 2013. I bestow this honor on the father that surely left his brain cells at home in a small pile behind the coffee grinder. He is accompanying his energetic eight or nine-year-old daughter. She is riding a scooter inside the store as if she is going for a world record in indoor scootering. Possibly he is just too wasted from New Year’s Eve celebrating to notice that his spawn is burning rubber and has narrowly missed slicing off the toes on my right foot. He is also blind to the steam heat that I pack in my head that’s firing directly out of my ears in billowing puffs of smoke.
Once outside again I am pounding the pavement leading back to my sanctum sanctorum when I come across the first littered movie stub on the sidewalk. I am certain that this is not the first littered movie stub in all of New York City in 2013, but this is the first one that catches my eye. It is lying face down, so I cannot see what film the movie going litterbug saw. After kicking at it for the better part of fifteen seconds or possibly fifteen minutes, time is so hard to measure when relying on cloud cover, I decide to risk contracting Onychomycosis. I am aware that rare side effects of treatment for this nail disease can lead to liver failure, and if I get that, very likely I will have a one-way ticket to the big dirt nap. Please do not send flowers; plant a tree someplace in my memory, and call that tree Inga. I have always wanted to get horizontal, vertical, perpendicular, trapezoidal, and truth be told every position Spirograph-ical, with a free spirited naked woman with that name, but preferably someone full figured, yet not scary-fat, more Bettie Page-like, but I digress.
As a daring and brave worrier (sic or sick take your pick), I flip over the ticket stub with my bare fingers and see that the film is Barbara, a drama from Germany that was their official selection for the 2013 Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. Even though it fell short of the Academy’s shortlist, my pal, Milton, has seen it and has praised it effusively. It is likely that I will never see this film because it’s not a feature that screens for seven shekels before noon at the multiplex.
By the time Barbara hits TV, probably cable stations, IFC or the Sundance Channel, I will have long forgotten that I once wanted to see it. I frankly prefer to invest precious and fleeting middle aged memory space in fantasizing about free spirited naked women named Barbara desiring me. Oops, I mean free spirited naked women named Ingrid. Inez? How about someone named Ida, or maybe even Idaho? At this point, I’ll even settle for a woman in a burka named Dan as long as her vagina is not dry as dust and her natural fragrance is not that redolent of salmon. I do have standards. Anyone offering?
Continuing on my trek, across the street from my brownstone I see the unusual sight of a muscle car from my long evaporated youth, a two door 1968 Buick Skylark. “Cool beans,” I don’t think since I’d sooner mainline Liquid Plumr than use that expression. I photograph it avidly figuring that I may never see this vintage of vehicle ever again. Since it is as intriguing as it is eye sore-ish, there is the distinct possibility that it will hog space on my block long after the sheen on this New Year fades and 2013 is as dull as that forty-five-year-old jalopy’s paint.