One of those days, when I take my finest-point pen and a small sheet of foolscap and I add some figures on it. The 401K I started 34 years ago. Another one started 28 years ago. And another one. And another.
Then I add up the money I've put into this equity or that. All the money I've scrimped and saved since I left the hallowed halls of ol' Alma Mater way back when shivving someone with a switch-blade on the graffitied and broken #1 train was New York's national sport.
I add to it the equity I have in my apartment. I look at the total and multiply it by .03--about what I could get from a stock paying a good dividend.
I look at it. I think about the bs that comes with work, with life, with everything that comes from living in the Trumpocalypse.
I think about some out of the way place where I could, finally, find the time to do the things I want to do with no interference from anyone else. Listen to Mahler or Bruckner, dark stormy music that heralds the end of the world. I could watch "Sullivan's Travels," for the 9000th time, or "The Lady Eve," or "Citizen Kane," or the first 20 minutes of "The Magnificent Ambersons," or "The Third Man," and I could write, finally, the three books I have in me.
I think about a passage I like from Salinger's "Catcher in the
Rye," “I thought what I'd do was, I'd pretend I was one of those deaf-mutes. That way I wouldn't have to have any goddam stupid useless conversations with anybody. If anybody wanted to tell me something, they'd have to write it on a piece of paper and shove it over to me. They'd get bored as hell doing that after a while, and then I'd be through with having conversations for the rest of my life. Everybody'd think I was just a poor deaf-mute bastard and they'd leave me alone . . . ”
It's been a long week, and disappointing too, with too much pressure, and frankly, too little recognition and reward. It's rainy and cold and feels more like March than May. The dark, republican ages are upon us--a time of dirt in the air and water and the sick and poor getting sicker and poorer while the fees at private clubs and 21 room apartments on Fifth avenue rise. My fountain pen has leaked and I have ink on the pocket of my shirt. I cut myself again shaving, and my shoulder aches from the torn rotator cuff that I haven't the stomach to get ripped out and repaired.
On days like this, it's best to leave me alone until ten.