ADVERSITY, DIVERSITY, ABSURDITY
There is a big difference between staying someplace and living
somewhere. I've stayed lots of places. I've only lived in
This past week I was walking from lunch, across town to the
west side of Manhattan, to go to Splashpoint, a photo studio
on the far west side, near the Hudson. There I was meeting
Ceslie Armstrong, the Editor In Chief for a magazine called
GRACE. We had a meeting about a project.
Somewhere between 8th and 9th Avenues, it hit me with piercing
clarity. I live in New York; I'm not just staying here. I
have an apartment in the city, a house in the country, my
partner is here, has a job he loves, we have friends, and
I'm doing interesting work
I have a life, in a fullness
and completeness that I enjoy, wildly.
And I am living in a city where the unusual is the usual.
It was the same morning that on the 6 train, a gentleman
dressed as a horse and cowboy [one actor/one costume, combining
both] jumped aboard the subway and began to serenade the passengers
with Patagonian love songs. When he passed his hat, I suspect
his take was low because he scared the bejesus out of most
us when he came on, bellowing at the top of his lungs, with
no time to adjust.
It was the morning after riding the same train when a woman
stood from her seat, forgetting that she was on one of the
new trains and her particular seat snapped up with a BANG!
if you didn't hold it back. She forgot, it BANGED! and everyone
With a very apologetic look on her face, she said to everyone,
"I'm sorry. I forgot it would bang! I'm very sorry, you
know, because of all that has been going on
Once we were off our defribulators we smiled at her and nodded
her on her way. We're a little jumpy in New York. After all,
we have just arrested someone who intended to bring down the
Brooklyn Bridge. Apparently just an ordinary truck driver
living in the midst of us who had a life changing encounter
with Osama bin Laden sometime in the past.
To earn my living I do a variety of things, including developing
and selling television programs.
This brings me into contact with interesting things and people.
For example, I spent Thursday morning visiting with Mama Gena,
of Mama Gena's School Of The Womanly Arts. She teaches women
to appreciate the power of their sexuality. "Pussy Power!"
is the Academy's mantra and graduates matriculate in lingerie
and high heels.
Perhaps I should have seen this coming as earlier in the
week I met with Jon Alpert, twelve time Emmy winner, on a
project. We were discussing medical projects.
He told me about a corporate medical video on gynecology
he had done for which he'd eventually had to hire a professional
vagina. It appears that there are actors in New York who,
between acting gigs, rent out parts of their bodies so medical
students can use the "real thing." She shared with
Jon she made about $60,000 a year as a professional vagina
and it was a pleasure, I'm sure, for her to be doing something
You can imagine where the conversation went from there
Jon has just returned from Iraq, where someone was killed
standing next to one of his crew and where he had a car hijacked
from under him.
Jon seems to like this kind of thing.
He is now in La Paz, following a Bolivian coca lord but he
couldn't leave until he captured on tape the surrender to
authorities of a criminal he's been following for twenty years.
This time he's going away for life. But before he got sent
away, he went on a final fling that included a great deal
of time in a very small bathroom with prostitutes, illegal
substances and some needles.
This has been a week when I have simply reveled in the absurdity,
diversity and adversity of life in this city and the life
I'm leading in it.