Mean Streets: Gurley Walks Manhattan, Part Deux

Doctor in that building wants to widen my nasal passages. Afraid I won’t wake up after anesthesia—plus still owe gastroenterologist $500 for endoscopy, plus maybe I need a colonoscopy first. But it would be nice to smell again. Whoa—just had one of those involuntary, inexplicable feelings that only happen while walking in New York City—out of the blue, something clicks, waves of pure pleasure wash over you, then you think how you really, really like New York City a lot and there is no place you’d rather be. Whole thing lasts 10 seconds max.

JG Melon too crowded and everyone looks mean, white, hung over, and miserable on their cell phones. Look at those guys waiting with their green hunting jackets (got one on myself) and pricey sunglasses (ditto). These few blocks always bring something out in me I dislike, a snobby demeanor from all those years when I tried to blend in on Jupiter Island, Southampton, Lyford Cay, Locust Valley. Let’s not beat up on self. Teenager then. Dork. Goof. Bad attitude. Difficult. Delinquent. Broke that neon sign in Sag Harbor in ’86 (I’ll pay for it, within reason); drove onto train tracks in Amagansett. Doesn’t count because you’re pre-moral at that age.

Mortimer’s. Had dinner with an aristocrat lady in her 70s. I was very sick but she made me stay there a full three hours. Made plans to meet another beautiful refined lady of a certain age at the Russian Tea Room—but I was living in this cheap hotel, it wasn’t meant to be, now it’s too late.

78th street. Scary dance at Allen Stevenson school in ’79. Mean eighth-graders ragged on me, my pal and our dates for our cute wholesome dance moves, then one of them whipped out a knife or at least said he had one. Girlfriend’s father came to get us. Outside saw preppie blond burnout dude take a deep pull of what I assumed to be marijuana and it terrified me. Just Googled him—he’s a stockbroker and has given a few thou to Democrats and Republicans. Once he and I were walking by Allen Stevenson and one of us threw a rock through second-floor window. Wasn’t me.

Where am I? East 80s. Used to be a nightclub here called Country Club. Was leaving the club at 3 a.m. and chatted with cracky prostitute before returning home to West 70th and realizing I didn’t have keys. Or money. Buzzed landlady, she screamed at me, so I speed-walked back through Central Park to the club, to look for my keys. Closed. Bouncer shaking his head. Ran into same prostitute, who scored my keys somehow, so I promised her a reward. Gave her my number, she called next day, but wires got crossed and it just never happened. Bad karma. Then landlady kicked me out of sweet sublet.

Walking rapidly now toward three old women on 80th Street. As I passed them I heard one say to the other, “I can’t believe how you have cheated me.”

Not sure All Washed Up is the best of all possible names for a laundromat. From this angle the neon sign for Vogue Nails looks like Vagina Nails, at least in my mind.  Good memories in 903 Park where psychotherapist Andrew Salter had his practice. He wrote The Case Against Psychonalysis, was mentioned in Manchurian Candidate and found all those clues in the Van Gogh paintings. I took my crazy French girlfriend to see him and she didn’t behave herself, told an off-color joke about a neurotic French woman being cured by a well-hung Pakistani guy. Big mistake.

I didn’t do a whole lotta spreading of the seed on Park Avenue. Uh-oh: Skinny blond mother and daughter in front of me. Don’t think lustful thoughts. Bad. Jailbait. Sin. Stop! Think of Philip Seymour Hoffman sharting in my pajamas then making me put them on. That’s better. Pretty sure Nixon lived around here.

The future of the planet? I can understand caring about my children and my children’s children but after that I’m done. Sorry.

Not so sure about the Guggenheim’s design. Seems to be a lot of wasted space up there.

ggurley@observer.com