May 28, 2011

I prefer Y to shoot the back of my head.

When we say “Let’s go shooting,” we mean what you think we mean.

Three officers near Times Square were decked out in helmets, bulletproof vests, and AK-47s. A fourth one stood with a German shepherd off the curb. The dog growled when I stared too long. I laughed, safety on my side.

One officer wore his beard in a most un-officer way. I wanted to openly admire, but he kept his gaze ahead of him, his stance professional and stern. After the “not guilty” verdict of the cops who’d raped the girl on East Thirteenth Street, perhaps this officer was doing double moral duty. All the officers must be. They all better be.

Times Square was a colorful, Fleeting madhouse: ROTC teenagers swaggering about in braces and zero percent muscle tone, Marine wannabes competing for a pull-ups record.

Pockets of light casting pockets of shadow witnessing pockets of solitude guarding pockets of secrets.

THE END IS NEAR, read one sign.

THEY GOT THE WRONG DATE FOR THE END OF THE WORLD, read another.

Photographs earlier that day: of Hiroshima by a secret U.S. surveying team a few weeks after the bombs hit; of Holocaust refugees crowded into too-small ships, kept away from safety on orders from Britain; of a baby wearing a Klan uniform, but then, in another room, of a tiny terrier in midair.

Through the window I watched a man having trouble sticking his eyelashes on a woman. She kept still, her hair in rollers. The mirror beside them revealed her ecstasy. I was ecstatic for her. Then I was shot.

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