Richard Feynman in Central Park

I dreamed of a coffeehouse full of toys and couldn’t find a place to return my dirty dishes and when I did they had all become screws and it was necessary to sort them into specific compartments. I dropped them on the floor and a fluffy white dog went to eat them so I picked them up but they multiplied like hydra heads and my wife was waiting outside with arugula in her hair.

Yesterday I went to Central Park for the first time since moving here. My good friend came with me and we stopped at a mini book fair on the way. He bought a book of Japanese Poetry and I wished I could commit to reading Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett. I couldn’t commit because here in my apartment sit a small detachment of my army of books, the rest of which I’ve locked in storage on Fulton Street in East New York, and I’ve decided not to move until I’ve read all of them.

Good Friend found a copy of On the Road and handed it to me and I remembered why I haven’t read either Good Omens or Harold Bloom’s Shakespeare: The Invention of the Human. It’s because I keep rereading On the Road and Catch 22.

We walked through the park for about half an hour, took some pictures and threw a few loose quarters at a guy playing an Erhu. There were two guys actually, in separate parts of the park, but the first sounded like a train derailment shrouded in sackcloth and ashes.

Then we walked out of the park and I said, “I’m unimpressed.”

Good Friend said he thought it was great but I could tell he thought it was good.

We walked up the west side of the park looking for a bodega to get some stakeout coffee without realizing that we were in the one place in the world least likely to contain a bodega. This fact became apparent after a few blocks and I looked at the map on my phone to find a more likely location.

We were surprised to see that the blue dot indicated we had covered only about one percent of Central Park. Richard Feynman said, “Explore the world. Nearly everything is really interesting if you go into it deep enough.” Gordon Flanders said, “Walk around dispassionately. Nearly everything is really a waste of time if you go into with the right attitude.”

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We Know Time

It was drizzling and mysterious at the beginning of our journey. I could see that it was all going to be one big saga of the mist. “Whooee!” yelled Dean. “Here we go!” And he hunched over the wheel and gunned her; he was back in his element, everybody could see that. We were all delighted, we all realized we were leaving confusion and nonsense behind and performing our one and noble function of the time, move.

Jack Kerouac, On the Road

Hell yeah, they knew time. And we know time. And I know I’ve got nine minutes until I really should start getting these V-Day preparations out of the way.

Yes these days really are passing quite strangely, what with this new way of perceiving them as transient, rather than “every morning a little birth, every night a little death,” which is a quote from somewhere I forget.

It is drizzling and mysterious in my head. One big saga of mist, it has been. But we’re all delighted, and the confusion and nonsense of the night before is behind us, and somewhere far ahead of us in the same sense, and all there is left to do is to move.

Time comes and time goes and everything really is strange and wild. The night comes but it is gone in the morning, only to come back again. It is nothing. It is physics. But anyhow it’s all vanished into so much soreness in the legs.

And so will pass the night ahead of us, since already it is behind us.

Buy the ticket, take the ride. As hideous as it is, I, too, have found it to be true.

To move, to move, to be in motion, that’s what time is, that’s how time goes, and that’s how we avoid time, and though we can never be friends, we can wave as we pass on the street.