Can you believe Michael Jackson died ???
Self heard the news on her way home from the Village. She was with Drew. He got a call from a friend, and in the middle of the call he suddenly turned to self and said, “Michael Jackson just died!”
And self said, No, that’s some kind of joke!
And Drew said, No joke.
His friend had gotten 10th row seats to Jackson’s upcoming concert in London. The tickets were a thousand each. Drew’s friend was pretty upset.
Then, just behind us, a group of people started talking about it. We heard one man go, “Michael Jackson just died!”
“How?” self asked Drew. “Was it suicide?” (Why did that thought first occur to self? She knows not the reason, dear blog reader)
Drew said, “No, some kind of heart attack.”
Then, we passed a group of tweens, somewhere on 3rd Avenue, and they were chanting, at everyone passing, “Michael Jackson just died! He flat-lined in the hospital! They couldn’t revive him!” The girls were smiling, practically giddy with excitement. How strange was that? Only in New York, etc etc
Self parted with Drew around Astor Place. She was walking towards St. Marks Bookshop. Then she remembered, she used to live here. It was 30 years ago. She sub-let an apartment from a New York City Opera singer. The location was 8th and 1st. Self somehow remembered the street as being somewhat “grunge,” she remembers stepping over the prostrate bodies of drunks passed out on the sidewalk. There was a dentist who lived on the floor below hers, but she only saw him with a patient once. The patient was seated in an ordinary wooden chair, and the dentist had tilted it back so that he could look straight into the patient’s mouth. There were youths with green spikey hair and safety pins in their noses draped around the cube on Astor Place.
Now, 8th street is one sushi joint after another. Self stepped into a beauty salon to inquire how much they charged for haircuts, and they said, $50. How the street has changed!
Self was glad she went to the reading, for aside from the fact that Wells Tower has a real knack for describing gross-out scenes, she got to listen to a writer whose work she is unfamiliar with, Fiona Maazel. And that writer just bowled her over. Her piece was from a novel-in-progress, and the whole thing involved gerontophilia and even a mention of self’s beloved Spock (as in “Hello, I am Spock, I have no human feelings!” end quote. Can you believe the coincidence, dear blog readers? Spock is everywhere! Self even expected Zach Quinto to pop up in the audience!)
After the reading, self hailed a cab and went directly home. To prepare for yet another day of exciting and improbable occurrences.