Tuesday, September 23, 2008

The Minutes

Monday, September 22, 2008

12:46 p.m.—This bench is officially warm. Lunch hour, "the Golden Hour"(?), is almost over. It's a very, very pleasant day here in lower Manhattan. The other day I had the idea to write something in the form of a "minutes" log like the kind used in official meetings. Some friends and I did one in 1999, in my junior year of high school. Only the other day did I get the idea to do it again on my own as some kind of "creative writing" piece. I am now actuating that idea.

1:47 p.m.—Enjoying tea. M&M's are digesting in me.

3:36 p.m.—Correction: M&M's are being digested in me.

3:57 p.m.—Are the noises made by my coworkers worthy of comment?

4:18 p.m.—Dow drops 373 points. Yippee!

4:32 p.m.—Waiting for facebook to load. I believe I am hungry.

4:34 p.m.—facebook gives me this message: "Your account is temporarily unavailable due to site maintenance. It should be available again within a few hours. We apologize for the inconvenience." I am slightly more than mildly annoyed at first, but then cool off when I realize I can write about it here.

4:37 p.m.—facebook loads when I try again. I only had to wait a few minutes, rather than a few hours, as implied in the message quoted above.

4:50 p.m.—A purchase is made by me of some pretzels. I intend to eat them in a few minutes, after I leave work. I need to tide myself over because I have to do laundry before eating supper tonight.

16:53—I switch to military time so that I don't have to keep writing "a.m." and "p.m.".

17:15—On the steps of the Federal Hall National Memorial, I gaze out over my subjects (if by "my subjects" I mean "people and tourists", over whom I in fact have no jurisdiction). The temperature of the air, the color of the sky, and the level of moisture in the air are ideal—about 72°, gray, and ???, respectively. I think about the 1929 crash. When people jumped out of windows, did that happen here, on Wall Street? Or in other parts of the city? Some must have occurred outside New York as well. But were there many? Or is this one of those legends that originates in an isolated incident or two and then gets blown out of proportion by the media?

17:33—Some kind of anti-socialist protester walks up to me and hands me a small, fake $20 bill with some guy's face on it. I shortly learn that the face is that of Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke. A couple of these guys are holding signs. On the back of the tiny fake twenty are these words:

The Federal Reserve is a private bank
The Federal Reserve has never been audited

The Federal Reserve prints money out of thin air
The Federal Reserve destroys your savings
The Federal Reserve uses your savings to bail out corporations

The Federal Reserve caused the financial crises

The U.S [sic] dollar is as valuable as Monopoly money


One of the protesters' signs says "Reluctant Power of Toxic Debt". Another says "No On Comrade Paulson". All but one of the protesters are in suits. Four guys in suits, one not. Another sign says "Bailouts Cause Inflation". This protest has pretty much petered out. A pretty much petered out protest. These guys need a megaphone.

17:47—I write "Beardo" on the forehead of Ben Bernanke. This is an inside joke, a reference to "The Minutes" written by my friends and me in 1999. I would not make a good protester. I crumble easily under the slightest duress. It seems that a few more suit-wearing protesters have shown up. One is wearing a bowler hat. They are making me almost nervous.

1902—I do away with the two dots (a/k/a "colon") in the time notation. Just to make life that much easier. Laundry commences.

1928—Too many dudes doing laundry. I am but one dude, and I require a working dryer, of which there is but one.

1933—Drying commences. I'm using the shitty one. Which is at least a step up from the really shitty one.

1935—I flick a tiny roach upon the table by my side. Iambic heptameter.

1953—Spontaneous iambic lines are something I do well.

2010—I move clothes into the good dryer. The shitty one is really no better than the really shitty one. They spin but provide no heat.

2014—A medium-size roach sidles up to me on the table.  I stand up from the table and try to shoo it away. Shooing is seldom effective on roaches. Or tables.

2032—Got into an argument with one of the laundry dudes, the one who made me wait for the good dryer because he wasn't here when his cycle ended, so I had to remove his clothes and put mine in. That was a poorly constructed sentence. Anyway, the dude thinks he won the argument, but I know I did.

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