I realize that it is the second Monday of the month as I’m checking literary events around Brooklyn and finding a big finale for a summer reading series taking place at a place called Franklin Park. Looking Franklin Park up on my phone alerts me that it is thirty five minutes away. Not quite as far as Prospect Park or the Brooklyn Bridge Park. Pretty far but manageable.
I don’t have time to spare. It’s rounding six and the event starts at eight. I promised Musette that I would wash the dog. I also told her that I would clean the bathroom. I don’t know if that’s going to happen. Hopefully by cleaning the dog I will be able to get away with putting the bathroom off until tomorrow. She’ll understand that I’m trying to do right for the family.
I bring the dog with me into the shower. He stands within the outpouring of warm water as I make little mountains of his shampoo in my hands and rub it all over him, from the tip of his nose to the tip of his tail. I wash myself off and take him out, drying him off with the Victoria Secret pink beach towel and wrapping him in his Doctor Who robe.
I get dressed and leave the apartment around 7:15. While walking I get somehow pulled back into Ello. It is a desert. The white house is black of soot. My words are scrambling with gunshot wounds. The left side of time is missing Lilli.
Hey, here I am, I say. Still trying to find my place. Just trying to be effective. As effective as possible. Current, fluid, moving, present. In with you in the moment. In with you now. In when you need me. Walking, talking. The active voice of our generation. Literally on the road. In da club. In your hand. Before your eyes. And in your mind at all times. Giving real time poetry readings. Getting to the core of things. Your imaginary friend. The ever constant omnipresent hero. An unreliable narrator. A father stopping into the family home.
It’s a long walk and Franklin Street is predominantly black. I am nervous watching the sun set. I am not playing any music. I do not have my headphones in. I do not need to check my map often as the destination should be right on this road. I don’t see how I could miss it. A big park is what I’m picturing. But I do miss it, because it’s not a park. It’s a bar. I have to turn around. I walked four blocks past.
There is an outdoor seating area. The event is taking place indoors. It is packed. I open the door but the crowd is stuffed clear to the exits. I try squeezing in but servers keep rushing past, apologizing, trying to get to the patio. There’s someone behind me who got there before me and I keep dashing into his view. There is nowhere to go. The guy that is reading looks like Bradley Cooper. His book is for sale, spotlighted on a table in front of him.
I go back out to the patio and circle around for a bit before trying to re-enter. But it’s useless. Even more crowded than before. I’m beginning to look like a big fool. So I leave, leaning against the outside wall of the bar to do a little writing. Bradley Cooper does not come out for a smoke. Tao Lin does not pass by with pot.
What a waste.
I plug my headphones in and listen to Black Dice radio as I walk home.
I guess I’ll have time to clean the bathroom after all.