Aug, 2019 back to Oct, 2009: (nothing)
Last night I ran my final run in Central Park. Toward the end, I was struck by a sudden urge to sprint to the northern tip of the reservoir and revel in the midtown skyline.
I have stared at the skyline many times before, of course, but final occasions afford some unexpected ruminations. I peered at the skyline, the reflection of the skyline, and my memories of my last big departure: Dar es Salaam.
I had declared the city of Dar es Salaam—the city itself—somewhat unpleasant: flat, hot, dirty, stressful, and sometimes dangerous. My departure last year was painful exclusively because of the people I was leaving: it had nothing to do with the city itself.
Sep, 2009 back to Jun, 2009: (nothing)
Late last year, I was meandering around the Upper West Side of Manhattan, absorbing my new neighbourhood. As on most beautiful weekends, a street was closed and festivities were afoot. Gravitating towards the action, I was pleased to witness elated racers conquering the New York City Marathon.
I had to smile and cheer at every runner trickling in. The finishing times were likely quite bad by the time I started watching, but these heroes had nonetheless managed to slay Goliath.
And I thought to myself, “that must feel amazing.”
I have neglected my blog and will continue to do so for at least another week; in the meantime, a former roommate has written a fabulous piece for the New York Times about my current apartment's view: Parallel Lives.
My office in SoHo is similarly proximate to parallel workplaces: should I break the unwritten rule, I would be spying upon finance companies, design firms, Internet start-ups, and laser light show producers, all 12 feet away. At least my bedroom window faces diagonally, so at night my view is an unthreatening brick wall.
May, 2009 back to Dec, 2008: (nothing)
A five-foot-tall transvestite, dressed in drag, walks up to me at the Posta Mpya public transit hub late at night in Dar es Salaam, happily yammering words I cannot understand. I smile and shrug, and eventually he moves on to his next comic victim, never missing a beat in his monologue.
Ni mchizi yangu, a passer-by jokes with me: a Swahili pun, in this context straddling the line between, this is my buddy and, this is a crazy person. Out of the spotlight, I am free to look around: I notice that a crowd is laughing at my accoster.
This is yet another little moment from my life in Tanzania which recently rushed back to me when I least expected it. My reminiscing usually begins with smells, sights, or phrases; but this particular memory of Tanzania came from a crazy person in New York:
Nov, 2008 back to Oct, 2008: (nothing)
What does gambling mean to you?
To me, gambling is a lark. Last night I won sixty cents on a horse named Pacific Flora: my tactic was to select the horse with the slowest-sounding name, and after searching the big book of small numbers in vain for a name along the lines of Bro-Can Leg, I decided seafaring algae might be comically slow as well. Pacific Flora somehow managed to evolve its way to first place.
Then I saw the slot machines.
Insert $1 to $100.