Tuesday, September 8, 2009
The fishing net is tangled around my ankles, but I’m not on a fishing boat, not on a pier, not anywhere near the water. I’m on Delancey Street, just having enjoyed a sublime gelato from il Laboratorio del Gelato. I stumble a bit, hobbled like a steer caught in a gaucho’s bolo. Miraculously I manage to not fall over. I wonder how a fishing net wound up on the street on the Lower East Side. A cruel joke of the gods? Who is the fishing god anyway, Neptune? He must be getting me back for all those times I tweaked his nose as I passed the Dakota on the Upper West Side. Funny, the things we do without worrying about the consequences. In ancient times, we must have been ever mindful of our smallest actions for fear of angering such gods. My transgression could have meant being ostracized because my actions would bring Wrath upon not only my head, but the entire clan. Life’s rhythms are changed by assumed consequence. Once a rule was made up – say, don’t step on the cracks or you’ll break your mother’s back – it would probably first become a personal habit. Or it might be encoded into a whole community of walkers with a head-downward creed of humility in the service of paranoia. A cult of watching where you walk.