This is it. I can't be brave or witty or ironic. I am too depressed. My business has dived off the cliffs: In the past month, my billings only come to about 10 days worth of income. I am not getting any new bookings: I don't know whether to take it personally or whether it is due to the fact that SSD applicants may not have a reliable phone connection to do a hearing on. I don't know how I can survive. I am not eligible for the stimulus checks. I may lose my insurance next month. It is obvious that there will be no summer kayaking this year. Not to mention, no summer school, no B'way, no movies, etc. NY is just a very expensive version of NJ, with better mass transit. What is the reason to live here, especially when my income is negligible?
The only time I feel okay is when I go out on my bike. I just bought one--seven speed (oh, I need more). Green--not my favorite color for a bike, but in NYC, they're hard to get. The bike lanes in NYC are horrid--most of the time--try to find them. Pedestrians walk brazenly on them---and then yell at the bikers to use the street. Cars and trucks turn on them. Or they double park Many times, they disappear altogether. Not to mention my constant fear of getting doored to the floor. Most of the time, I feel like a player in Grand Theft Auto. Without the prostitutes.
Still, I remember when I used to read. Many accounts of gentiles in Nazi-occupied Europe. Of course, it was worse for the Jews. Still, they couldn't use their cars--either they'd been confiscated or gasoline was too expensive. Bikes were hard to get then too. But if they had a bike already--the joy. The freedom. Many used to bike out to the countryside and pick berries. It was their only sense of normalcy.
Now I am rereading "Lonesome Dove," Isolation. Bad food. Poverty. Dicey ways of earning a living. The need for constant vigilence, to ensure unfriendlies, feral beasts, ravaging reptiles, and fearsome insects don't cause grave bodily injury.
The same with me. Sure I have to be constantly alert. But occasionally, one finds a beauty one didn't know existed. Like Randall's Island. I was there maybe a decade ago--they had a free shuttle van service that went up Third and returned on Second. I went to play mini-golf. I used to be an enthusiast. Now I wonder what I saw, but, no mind. I never explored the island. Yesterday, I took a quickie--saw the "gardens," the garbage processing center, etc. But, quel wonder--separatelbike lanes, separate car lanes, and separate walking paths. I could ride and simply experience the sheer utopia of moving. And, amidst the waste processing odor, there is a hint of wisteria and freshly mown grass.