Thursday, July 07, 2011

the end of the world

So it's the end of the world as we knew it. As much as we understood, sadly,that Borders was over, it was still a shock to pass Barnes and Noble at 66th and Broadway and find it not just disappeared, but papered window to window to ceiling to floor in red, with some announcement of a company to come, that, I believe, will sell clothes.
For some time now the writing has been on the wall, or, more accurately, the Kindle. Someone was reading one in the park this morning-- a beautiful day, PAY ATTENTION! THIS COULD BE OVER SOON, TOO!--- and I sighed as I read, (still on paper, The New York Times, to be edited came the bulletin on my e-mail, by Jill Abramson, who was taught the business by my beloved Sandy Burton when she was the first woman bureau chief of Time in Boston--) the growth in celebrity novels by Kardashians whom I still don't consider celebrities & Snooki who can't read. Heartened by the next two benches' occupants, one reading Balzac and the other Agatha Christie from actual books, I returned to my less than spacious apt., its view bleakened by the high-rise-in-progress, to see my next door neighbors' Wall Street Journal on the floor headlined: Economic Outlook Darkens. No shit.
The good news is that I have two friends just back from death's doorway. The bad news is I was not with Shelly and Byron at Lake Geneva during the summer they were all so productive and sexy. Woody Allen has co-opted living in another time, and done it prettily and fairly cleverly, too, so I had to put aside my long-time antagonism/jealousy--as I have told before, we shared office space at NBC during my first and only job when I was 20, and were supposed to save the Colgate Comedy Hour, and he came to work only on the day we got paid, whereas I was there every day with a new sitcom or a musical and you know which one of us prevailed. Still, I would not mind having the opportunity to time-travel and hang out with Percy and Mary and the rest of the laudanum-inspired gang on the water that glorious summer, and maybe teach Shelly to swim, which would change and extend the course of English poetry.
Two guys just came to check on my awning, the motor having died so I cannot lower it and hide the lego orange and black obscenity that is the new building. One is from Nigeria, where an uncle came back from America with jeans and sneakers so he could not wait to emigrate, won the lottery, and so is here but has a friend who spent ten hours in the emergency room and no one ever helped him so says America is not what it was. Really? Snooki, jeans and sneakers notwithstanding?