Friday, April 10, 2009

hotel chelsea

i used to live in this hotel with my father and my big mastiff puppy. we lived in room 505. we lived there from early spring to the very end of the summer, maybe we even moved out in september. a hotel full of oddballs and originals, hustlers and auteurs, misfits and luminaries. a hotel of long marble corridors and slow-motion elevators. my father and i became best friends in that hotel room, in that room number 505. we liked to read in the afternoons, each one of us on our own bed, not talking, just staying quiet and reading, and the big baby dog sleeping in a patch of sun on the floor...and then my father would fall asleep too and i would listen to both him and the puppy snoring away like cartoon characters. that summer we did everything together. we played backgammon, sitting cross-legged on one of the beds, drinking iced coffees, shit-talking and rubbing the dice for luck. we hailed cabs, took walks, and rode bicycles. we went to the movies and ate candy and popcorn and mostly always left halfway through because he could never sit still in movie theaters— they bored him, made him antsy. and we would sit out on the balcony and he would smoke his dunhills and i would listen to him tell stories about all the things he had seen and done, before i was born, before he was my father. in the middle of that summer a girl committed suicide. she jumped from the 9th or 10th floor, i can't remember which. i was sitting by the window and even amid all the noise and bustle of w. 23rd, i heard her hit the pavement. i didn't know what had happened though. i just heard a sound. and then the sirens came and by the time i looked out our window, her body had a blanket over it. but her shoes had been neatly placed by her side and blood was still moving on the pavement. my father wasn't with me in the room when it happened, he was walking home. but he saw what i saw, from the corner he had just rounded, a half a block away. even though he wasn't with me, looking down from the window, he still saw that same moment. together we watched the same thing happen, him from the corner, me from the window.

No comments: