I became insane with long intervals of horrible sanity.
Edgar Allen Poe
The trouble with fighting for human freedom is that one spends most of one's time defending scoundrels. For it is against scoundrels that oppressive laws are first aimed, and oppression must be stopped at the beginning if it is to be stopped at all.
- H. L. Mencken
Many people would sooner die than think; In fact, they do so
What I have been telling you, from alpha to omega, what is the one great thing the sigil taught me — that everything in life is miraculous. For the sigil taught me that it rests within the power of each of us to awaken at will from a dragging nightmare of life made up of unimportant tasks and tedious useless little habits, to see life as it really is, and to rejoice in its exquisite wonderfulness. If the sigil were proved to be the top of a tomato-can, it would not alter that big fact, nor my fixed faith. No Harrowby, the common names we call things by do not matter — except to show how very dull we are ...
-James Branch Cabell
July 05, 2016 - 2:06 p.m.
Welcome to a "I can't believe I slept so late so I made breakfast before writing" edition of Wise Madness. The advantage of that is that I'm now powered by coffee, this should be brilliant, or it would if I weren't an idiot.
I did not know how I was going to spend my Fourth of July till I got a message from Honor asking me if I wanted to hang out. That seemed like a perfect way to spend it so I said, "Yes." We had no specific plans, just "text me when you get to the City." At around 4 I left the apartment. I should have been there at 5:30 … that's now how it turned out. When I got on the it sat in the station for a while. Then there was an announcement, "Because of police action there will be no service between 125th Street and Hunts Point Avenue. Then came the message to take the to Westchester Square and get on the Bx 4 train to the . A whole bunch of us got off where they told us and waited for the bus. It took forever get there. It was the first stop so we got seats. Then when the bus started going I saw it was traveling under the tracks. What? Why did they have us get on the bus there which is so much slower than the train. I then got out my phone and looked at Google Maps. The Hunts Point Avenue stop is all of 3 blocks from the station. We should have just stayed on the train and walked a few blocks and would have saved an hour between the wait for the bus and the bus being slower. I got off the bus when I realized that and got back on the . We were still a 20-minute bus ride from the . Guess what, the was running normally, the police action had been cleared up. It was an hour and a half after I had left the house and still in the Bronx. I texted Honor to let her know what's what and stopped worrying about it.
My next travel issue was finding Honor's apartment. I have been there many times but not in ages. I was on the East Side and had to make my way to the West. First I went down the wrong street but I caught that. Then I got to her block and her building wasn't there. I didn't really think they had moved the building. I asked her for her address. I looked at the address I was at. I had walked one less avenue block that I thought I had. Yes, I'm an idiot.
I finally got there and waited for her to come down. We were originally going to get coffee but now it was so late we went for dinner. We tried a place in the neighborhood neither of us had eaten out but I had often seen and noticed as it just said, "Restaurant" on it. It's actually called "Elmo" but it doesn't say that on the sign on the building, only on the little fence around the outside tables. I wanted to tickle it.
Dinner was excellent, I had chicken fried chicken. I know that all of My Gentle Readers would feel cheated if I didn't tell you what I ate. Honor didn't have the "big salad" she had a salad that was big. Do not ask me what the difference is; ask Seinfeld.
Honor and I haven't seen each other in quite a while and we've each had life-changing experiences since then so we had a lot to talk about and that's how we spent out evening. We ate, then went for coffee then went to her apartment then went outside and sat on other people's stoops and talked and talked and talked. People were amazingly friendly when they found us sitting on their stoops. They would apologize to us for making us move. We even got in a conversation with one woman that had come back from Bryant Park where she watched the movie Top Gun. See New Yorkers are friendly and it's not just me and Honor. The whole thing sitting on a stoop, talking was pure New York. It would have made a nice scene in a movie. It was drizzling the whole time so we had to find the one dry spot on each stoop. That added to the atmosphere. I can't discuss what we talked about but I can tell you it was a conversation I could have had only with Honor. It's not that I wouldn't talk about these things with anyone else and of course no one else could tell me the things Honor had to say it was a matter of her perspective. It was not a generic conversation on the topics. That's of course true of all conversations with real friends. I was just more than usually aware of it last night.
We talked quite late and then I headed home. That proved an adventure too. When I switched to the at 53rd street there was an announcement that there was a stalled train at 42nd street and so there were delays. After waiting 20 minutes trains started running. The first train that came through said "no passengers." The next was a train, it didn't stop. Then another 8 minutes later another . It didn't stop. Then after another wait came another and miracle of miracles it stopped. So of course I got back to the Bronx so late that the buses were no longer running. It was a late night but well spent, but not the subway portions.
Brother Brothers in Arms - October 01, 2017
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