By Tom H. Brooks 3


“What he knows is that his heart is filled with an implacable sense of guilt.  At the same time,
he can`t escape the feeling that he is the victim of a terrible injustice.”
Paul Auster
“Travels in the Scriptorium”
“Those manuscripts and notebooks that are not published usually have the deepest connection
with the truth, and that truth is either arcane and difficult to perceive or else it is painful enough
to be considered an abomination.”
Luc Sante
3/22/07  Brooklyn 8:30am
The second day of spring and I take a foggy morning ride from Williamsburg (Billyburg) to Red Hook….
Also, I rode through Park Slope, Carroll Gardens, Cobble Hill, Brooklyn Heights and Gowanus Canal areas,
not necessarily in that order.  Eventually, I rode back over the Brooklyn Bridge to Manhattan and took
a ferry back to Staten Island and was home by 2:30pm for rooftop beers and reading in the afternoon sun…
“Once, if I remember well,
my life was a feast
where all hearts opened
and all wines flowed…”
Arthur Rimbaud
“Some people never go crazy.
What truly horrible lives they must lead.”
Charles Bukowski
“We are not where we are, but in a false position.  Through an infirmity of our natures, we suppose a case,
and put ourselves into it, and hence are in two cases at the same time, and it is doubly difficult to get out.”
Henry David Thoreau
“Fall mountains….
just don`t fall on me…”
“I`m the one that`s gonna have to die when it`s time for me to die,
so let me live MY LIFE the way I want to…”
Jimi Hendrix
“If 6 Was 9”
Smoking cigarettes steadily for 4 months in 2007 almost killed me…
There are truly no words that can describe how much
I`ve grown to despise massive fucking crowds………
“In the end, each life is no more than the sum of contingent facts,
a chronicle of chance intersections, of flukes, of random events
that divulge nothing but their own lack of purpose.”
Paul Auster
“The New York Trilogy”
The edge is NEVER is crowded as the center.  This is especially the fact in a city such as New York, where its inhabitants
seem to revel in standing and walking in huge packs, elbowing and pushing and yelling at the top of their lungs.  I, on the
other hand, seek the periphery, the edge places, hidden and rarely visited by the sheep.  There are not many places to hide
in Manhattan aside from the forest up north around Inwood.  There are people everywhere on this island but there are always
a few places that are quieter, with only the occasional passerby.  Today, Tuesday 3/27/07, I am sitting on the Hudson River
at 17th St, no secret spot by any means, but it is a lot more peaceful than Union Square!  I gaze out at the sunlight sparkling
on the river, I think about Chiharu in Japan, I think about life and death and love and meaning and the endless cycle of eternity.
The cars hiss by on the West Side Highway. Once in a while, a jogger huffs and puffs by, bikes glide silently…
I am alone and trying to understand it all, but as always, there are really no answers….
New York Moment #732
I was in the process of hacking up a lung on the 1 train, minding my own business as I brutally coughed up my deflated balloon
of a lung, when an elderly gentleman in a gray, pin-striped suit with a walking stick shuffled up to me and handed me a cough
drop without a word.  Hint or help?  You decide…
Thursday, 3/29/07
Spring is officially here.  Today, I take my final epic bike ride around Staten Island before my glorious return to Los Angeles…
listening to Bob Marley “Natty Dread Rides Again”….as I smoke a joint before I go….
“I am alone at the furthest periphery of existence.  Here the world expires and is still.”
Haruki Murakami
3/29/07 (continued…)
Unbelievable ride today.  The first thing that happened when I went out was ridiculous.  I`m riding down Richmond Terrace when
2 stupid, fat Staten Island cops pull me over on the pretense of my riding the bike on the empty sidewalk.  They were in a beat-up
old Ford Taurus so I guess they were undercover.  He was an S.I. Guido; she was a fat, ugly, dyke type.  They pissed me off with
their totally unfriendly and rude demeanors, but I held my tongue, against all odds, and took off again with no citation.  Then I kept
going down the west side of Staten Island, stopping for the occasional beer and smoke until I hit Tottenville.  Then I rode north again
on the east side of the Island, until I got home to St. George right at sunset, which I watched from the roof.  An amazing journey, indeed.
Goodbye Staten Island….
On this page is an autographed scrap of paper from Paul Auster.  I must confess, I already have the book so when I
was at the Union Square Barnes and Noble and saw his autograph in the front of one of his books, I just
simply tore the page out.  Why buy it twice when I only needed that page?
“So you think you can tell
heaven from hell,
blue skies from pain,
can you tell a green field
from a cold steel rail,
a smile from a veil……
so you think you can tell….”
Pink Floyd
“This is the strangest life I`ve ever known.”
Jim Morrison
“Every man is the author of his own life,
and the book you are writing is not yet finished.”
Paul Auster
“Moon Palace”
It`s all meant to be AS IT IS…
Inoteca:  the only restaurant in NYC where I ALWAYS finish every single morsel of my food;
not a single crumb left.  And…..everyone on the staff there is so fucking cool and friendly.
In summary, I love that place…..(if you haven`t been there, GO.  DO IT…..)
“Shine on you crazy diamond…”
Pink Floyd
“Overhead the albatross
hangs motionless upon the air,
and deep beneath the rolling waves,
in labyrinths of coral caves,
the echoes of a distant time
come willowing across the sand,
everything is green and submarine…”
Pink Floyd
It`s almost a full moon and the goddamned weirdos are coming out in droves.
A true story for you…
I was on the 1 train at 2am, heading home from still another nightmare at the place I call work.
That fucking restaurant reminds me of the painting by Pieter Breughel calledThe Triumph of Death.
Anyway, this guy in a black bowler hat with some kind of black goth-looking boots gets on at 14th St
and since I`m a freak magnet, naturally, he starts talking to me as I am trying to read peacefully.  Mind
you, this is a SLEEPY train car.  Random comment, “Are you Irish?”
I look up. “No.  I mean, partly, I guess…”
“That ring,” he replies.
“It`s from Thailand, not Ireland.”
“When did you go?” he says.
“I bought it in LA, man,” I say, dismissively with a sigh.
“What about that stone?” he says, referring to my necklace of black onyx.
“You ask a lot of questions.”
At this point, a black dude who is next to him, evidently, who was totally asleep, stirs and sighs heavily
with a bad vibe of intense irritation.  He looks at bowler hat weirdo with blazing red eyes and says, “What
the fuck, man?  Go over there and sit next to him if you gotta start yelling in my ear!”
“No, that`s not necessary,” I say, “I don`t want to talk to him either.”
Black guy ignores me and keeps yelling at bowler hat.  “Go sit over there, GODDAMN, respect, man, I was ASLEEP!”
Bowler hat holds up a hand to the black dude like he wants to be all “soul brother” and shit, you know, shake hands
like a homeboy.  Black guy says, “I don`t wanna shake your motherfuckin` hand! Shut the fuck up!”
I almost start laughing but instead, I stand up abruptly at the next stop, two stops before my stop and say,
“I`m fucking outta here!  You`re both giving me a goddamned headache.”
I walk from Wall Street to the ferry and then I witness a bunch of Staten Island Guidos arguing with an Arabic cab driver
over money.  Fuck these people.  Yes, I see a bad moon rising……
Although the black guy was just rude and angry enough to save me from the cling-on, wanna-be-friends-guy, I don`t need
any more friends.  Jeebus H. Christ, I can`t wait to get home……SANCTUARY……
” `He started snorting heroin.`
`That stuff will kill ya…`
`No shit!`
(Alan Arkin) `Now don`t you start doing that stuff, kid!  When you`re young, you`re crazy to do it.`
`What about you?`
`I`m OLD; When you get to be my age, you`re crazy NOT to do it!` “
“Little Miss Sunshine”
“You know what a real loser is, right?  A real loser is someone
who is so afraid of not winning that they don`t even try.”
Yes, we know now that spring has truly arrived with the ducks back in my swimming pool…
“We never keep to the present.  We recall the past; we anticipate the future as if we found it too slow in coming and
were trying to hurry it up, or we recall the past as if to stay its too rapid flight.  We are so unwise that we wander about
in times that do not belong to us, and do not think of the only one that does;  so vain that we dream of times that are not,
and blindly flee the only one that is.  The fact is that the present usually hurts.  We thrust it out of sight because it
distresses us, and if we can find it enjoyable, we are sorry to see it slip away.  We try to give it the support of the future,
and think how we are going to arrange things over which we have no control for a time we can never be sure of reaching.”
Blaise Pascal (1623-1662)
(this literally JUMPED off the page for me out of 300 pages of text at 5:30pm on 4/4/07)
“Do we forget about peanut butter when we get old,
or do we get old when we forget about peanut butter?”
Oh man, genius is hard work!
“I started out on burgundy,
but soon hit the harder stuff…”
Bob Dylan
“Just Like Tom Thumb`s Blues”
“He would sit in the backyard alone with his beer bottle in the moonlight.”
Charles Bukowski
“Hot Water Music”
The 1am ferry is ALWAYS the best one to catch; usually, the last run of the day at a strange time for the largest boat, The Spirit of America.
HUGE and empty….
It`s funny, I look at the Verrazano Narrows Bridge from the South Ferry Port and it seems SO FAR AWAY.  In contrast, I look at Manhattan from the
base of the same aforementioned bridge and it seems NOT FAR ENOUGH AWAY>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
I`ll tell ya, walking in circles all night in this stinking fish shack is something I WILL NOT MISS.
“You see, the thing is, Bob, it`s not that I`m `lazy`; It`s that I just don`t care…”
“Office Space”
“Well, the night I was born,
Lord, I swear the moon turned a fire red…”
Jimi Hendrix
“Voodoo Chile”
“I have been with her daily, but the void in me remains.  She has sat beside me.  We have eaten together.  I have walked her home.  We have
talked of many things.  Unreasonably, my sorrow only seems to grow, to deepen.  Whatever is the loss becomes greater each time we meet.
It is a well that will never be filled.  It is dark, unbearably so.”
“Death is not the opposite of life, but a part of it.”
“It is like looking for lost drops of rain in a river.”
“What matters is deciding in your heart to accept another person completely.  And it always has to be the first time and the last.”
“Deep rivers run quiet.”
“More often than not, I`ve observed that convenient approximations bring you closest to comprehending the true nature of things.”
“Having a drink in bed while listening to music and reading a book.  As precious to me as a beautiful sunset or good clean air.”
Haruki Murakami
There is a saying I once read on a Louisiana Church Community Billboard; it said, and I quote exactly, “SCATTERED SHEEP–STRANGE SHEPHERD”
It never seems more appropriate than when hundreds board the Staten Island Ferry….
Why, oh WHY must we whore ourselves out to the Corporate Juggernaut?
4/20/07  2:36pm
I abandon my cheap $20 winter jacket of almost 4 years on Orchard Street, where I bought it, where I began in NYC, for ironic effect, of course, back to the source….
I definitely WON`T need this thing back in sunny LA…
“I contend an abiding sense of irony over all that I do.”
Jim Morrison
One last stop at Lucky Jack`s on Orchard St across from a sick-ass hat shop I never noticed before, where I buy a CA-looking white hat after a pint of beer…
(“Bailey of Hollywood”)
These last spring days in NYC–almost enough to make me love it again, like I did when I first got here…..(alright, I DO still love it…)
East Village t-shirt with funny picture:
“What did the blind man say when he passed the fish market?”
“Good morning, ladies…”
“Why did the blonde college student do a Mexican?”
“Because her professor said to do an essay.”
“What do you say to a girl with two black eyes?”
“Nothing; you already told her twice.”
Guy at a newspaper stand on Broadway
A homeless guy that I know with a new sign that says “UGLY, BROKE AND IN NEED OF ALCOHOL.”
With a friendly smile I say to him, “Well Theo, you`re definitely ugly and broke, but I don`t think you need any more alcohol.”
He says, “Coming from you, THAT`S a laugh!”
I laughed and gave him a dollar, “Go get yourself a King Cobra, scumbag…”
“Hey, you wanna make $14.00 the hard way?”
“Hey, the graveyard is two blocks to the left…
Dance of the living dead…”
“The last time I saw a mouth like that, it had a hook in it…”
Rodney Dangerfield in “Caddyshack”
If I stop burning bridges now, where will I go?
“She was sweeter than a December suntan and 6 white horses running over a low green hill.”
Charles Bukowski
Brian Newman (referring to rolling one of his specialty big-ass blunts…)
4/24/07  1am
I`ll always remember Manhattan twinkling in the night, receding behind me as I stood hypnotized on the stern of the Staten Island Ferry.
The streets of NYC have all began to look the same to me, though.  That`s one thing I`ll give to LA, the infinite variety of its sprawling topography…
“I`ve made a very close study of you.  You know, when I`m not jacking off or stoned, I`m reading books, all kinds of books.  YOU are demented, my friend.”
funniest BUKOWSKI line ever….
In my years in NYC, I`ve been to the END of every train in every borough; the 6 train to Pelham Bay in the Bronx (“The Warriors”), the F train to Jamaica, Queens,
the Q or the F to Coney Island, Brooklyn, the A train to Inwood, Manhattan, and the Staten Island train to Tottenville….
“For those of you interested in madness, yours or mine, I can tell you a little about mine…”
Last days in Staten Island, NYC…..
to wake up at 4:20am to a misty thunder superstorm with lightning crashes and all…….AMAZING…..
“Beer and Poets and Talk”
Monday, 4/30/07, high noon
As I sit here, probably for the last time ever on the Kill van Kull, everything is glowing in a technicolor white sunshine brightness, like a
hallucinogenic dream.  I used to come here all the time from the Lower East Side to escape the crowds and the howl of the mob when
I first moved here.  It was my refuge, my fortress of solitude in the shitstorm that is life in NYC.  The waves wash up on the littered shore,
the metallic rocks sparkle in the Staten Island sunshine, distant machinery clinks and clanks, tanks in Bayonne, NJ, a mountain of salt,
Manhattan floating on the water like a stage backdrop for the strange dream that is MY LIFE.  The birds flutter overhead, a warm spring
breeze whispers across the land and there is no one but me, here on one end of the world, soon going to another…
I watch the giant and colorful ships go by, I see tiny men on the deck, I wonder where they`ve come from and where they`re going, and
then I think the same about my own life, very much the same; always drifting from one port to another, with a vague plan, of course, but
really at the mercy of Mother Nature, chance, fate, luck, coincidence, divine intervention, etcetera…..whatever you want to call it, no matter….
always wondering, waiting to see what will happen next.  The sun is high in the sky.  My mind is already traveling across the vast landscape,
west, west….to the last frontier of the New World……..goodbye New York City.  I will see you again one day….
“Meanwhile, I write about myself and drink too much, but you know that.”
Charles Bukowski






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