Friday, August 27, 2010

Ground Zero Mosque Shows Guts

Finally, new ink cartridges, $18.50 for twelve at the Fountain Pen Hospital. But because I'm soaking the nib section in cold water right now on the advice of the very competent and helpful gentleman behind the counter there, who diagnosed an ink-clog, I am having once again to use--a pen. The shop is on Warren Street. Fortunately, I can afford ink.

I have a friend who is an urban hermit. In fact, I've got two of them. Greenwich Village is their holy place, its streets and shops and rooms their map of pilgrimage and caves. Without money, maybe a little pocket change, there they go, daily. I'm not sure I agree that it's worth their devotion but naturally Greenwich Village in my latecomer's mind is not the same place that exists in theirs. They are old, both of them, deep-rooted hermits of deep faith and their holy place is Greenwich Village. I mean, I think it's very pretty and I've amassed some powerful memories there, myself, thank you. I'm happier to stay away, thank you, for the most part.

Anyway I know this one urban hermit; he's my friend; known him from church pretty well for six years now, last saw him in January when I left there. We met for dinner last night at the Waverly Diner in Greenwich Village, naturally. He hasn't changed; same things to report with different sets of words and symptoms; still very quick and funny and lovable. Still, the neighborhood claims his devotions--too much, I say, as I've just said. I only didn't say so last night because I wasn't getting into that argument again--I refer to the one about the wisdom of choosing to exist without resources in the midst of one of the most overpriced environments on earth. Partly because I get it better now--that is, rich folks being abundant and driving up prices might be a drag, but they can afford to give to charity.

Greenwich Village! Rosy birthplace of American art-hype and pretension! How could I leave you! Naturally Greenwich Village turns out to be much like anyplace else on earth and pockets full of contents are not being turned out into waiting hands, willingly, all that often. It's a hard life for an urban hermit. Looking on the bright side, though, it's a long one. Beacon Hill was similarly full of very old-time urban hermits when I lived there and 25 years later I'd be surprised to find that too many of them had left--again, willingly--were I to go back and look; which I don't want to. Been there, Beacon Hill, Greenwich Village, you name it. So many well-appointed people mixed with freaks, all yakking, yakking to each other, into cell phones, into other people's faces. It's hard, hard for a hermit to concentrate. I like it better where I live, among Russians, whose bitching I can't understand it when I hear.

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