During Summer especially, for relaxation and exercise I walk. Of course, I smoke while I walk, because the street is the only place I'm allowed to smoke, but honestly if I could smoke elsewhere I'd still smoke while walking, what I call smalking. I imagine I look cool and interesting, smalking along, projecting "I'm going places," which is sad and not true. Weirdly, I have a habit of holding my breath when I pass the tail-end of an idling bus, because I've heard the exhaust fumes can cause a spontaneous heart attack. So there I am, slogging down Broadway, trying to look like a cool unhealthy smalker, getting a little exercise and holding my breath behind buses. Such are the complexities and hypocrisies we live within.
Sometimes I walk from bar to bar. I always walk to the therapist, and I often walk home from my office which pays me to sit atop a giant photocopier. By the time I arrive home I've forgotten what I actually do to earn a living, another reason to walk.
I traveled little this summer, as per usual, with the exception of a brief family visit on my native soil. Nor do I have a weekend retreat, a time-share, or retiree relatives in Miami. But as I've intimated I live on the island of Manhattan, which is like everywhere else, only more of it. I see and hear things on my walks and write them down. In an effort to document my summer, Mr. Film & Television Rights has made a list.
Number of: people with a baby carriage filled with cucumbers: 1 people passed out in a wheelchair with their head resting on a fire hydrant: 1 topless transgendered people: 1 spitting: 12 per day bare midriffs: everyone people with a baby carriage filled with mini-Scottish Terriers: 1 elderly women spitting: 4 per day times approached for a cigarette while smalking: 4 per day times I palmed my cigarette when I thought I might be approached: 6 per day times I fell down: 0 times I dropped my wallet before I realized I had a hole in my pocket: 3 miles from office to home: 3.5 inadvertent butt-cleavage viewing: 4 per day time it takes to walk home: 1 hour time by train, door to door: 30-45 minutes celebrity sightings: 24 celebrities I remembered their name: 1 (Kirsten Dunst) sheer tops for the joy of it: 6 per day segway human transporters: 5 I don't want to see your thong sightings: 731 cops on segway human transporters: 2 times I was mistaken for a celebrity: 2 times I was insulted after being mistaken for a celebrity: 1 (evidently celebrities can't hear what you say in front of them, but not being one, I can) people alone talking loudly to angels or demons: 3 per day people alone talking loudly to their dumbass friends: 12 per day overheard conversations concerning apartments, neighborhoods, or restaurants: 40,000 sheer white pants: 40,000 female cops I smiled at on segway human transporters: 1 overheard conversations concerning politics: 3 per day overheard conversations with angels or demons concerning politics: 3 per day times I've stepped over urine: 3 a day people looking at maps: 15 per day mapless people who have stopped me for directions: 12 striped shirts: 100,000 striped shirts I've worn: 3 times I've stepped over urine while the person was urinating: 1 times I've accidentally given bad directions: 6 times my directions used the words "that way": 12 times I've urinated on myself: 99 (shooting for 100 by Labor Day) arguments witnessed: 6 dead bodies seen: 1 (at the back entrance of a funeral home) fights witnessed: 0 times heard someone yell to their phone "I had to tell someone I got an apartment": 3 times I heard someone say they saw Bjork and Matthew Barney at their favorite restaurant: 3 times I heard the word "jitney": 16 times I heard someone yell "I just won at trip to Iceland": 1