On the George Washington Bird Project


In which The Gay Recluse becomes increasingly obsessed with birds.


Today we left work and had to walk crosstown in the drizzle. It was completely dark and we didn’t have an umbrella.


Plus we were running late, and had overdressed; we regretted that it wasn’t snowing, as it would have been before global warming.


But our bad mood didn’t last more than a few steps.


Immersed in the pulse of rush hour, we were swept along by the prospect of an entire evening removed from the tedium of work.


People poured into the streets through revolving doors as cabs swerved down the avenues, tires hissing on the wet pavement. Everyone we passed looked intense and interesting; we were all characters in a noir thriller!


For a few seconds we forgot about all of our problem$ and fear$: we imagined ourselves welcoming the recession if it could be counted on to deliver such a frisson of insight and — somehow — anticipation, a sense that perhaps the best in life was not quite behind us if we could just harness some of this energy for our own purposes.


We walked past the buildings and thought of all the people who had lived and died within, and how as time passes and their names sink into the sands, the mutating city is really the only monument to all the dreams we ever held.

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