Monday, 30 June 2008


June is almost over, and I worked like a horse this month, didn't I? Starting from 1 July, I will have a whole year off just to write. The idea that I would have nothing more than a few hours of commitment per week in the city for the rest of the year so that I can concentrate on writing is quite a novelty, especially after labouring myself for eight years in this alienating city. I still remember that years ago, I vomitted in the 2nd Ave F train station as I couldn't stop coughing on my way to tutor my students at Park Slope, and the hour-long ride on the J train to give cello lessons to a pregnant Korean lady. She never rode the train herself, and she didn't realise how frightening that journey was. Ah, how can I not remember that 70 y.o. Korean woman in Chinatown who was so eager to learn the piano, that she would compare my lessons to her mother's milk. I admire her. I really do. She would finish playing the entire book in one week. She stopped her lessons after a month or so, claiming that her heart condition wouldn't allow her to be stressed out by the practice anymore. A strange feeling told me that she probably knew that she was dying, and she wanted to learn how to play before her time came--her childhood dream.

I stayed home all day today. I didn't bother to watch the Euro 2008 final. My original plan was to invite Alex to come to watch the game, but we played phone tags all morning. After having teased by two Spanish fans about my allegiance to the Azzurri in Nevada Smiths on the day of Italy's defeat, I didn't have much appetite to watch the German boys getting humped. I'm sure I can easily fall in love with Spain some day when I have a chance to visit there; but for now, I really can't care less.

TCM showed some of my favourite films today: All About Eve, Notorious, and Harvey. I was moved to tears by the scene in the alley behind Charlie's, in which Elwood talks about how people from all walks of life bring their troubles to him and Harvey:

Harvey and I warm ourselves in all these golden moments. Uh--we've entered as strangers--soon we have friends. And they come over and they--they sit with us, and they drink with us, and they talk to us. And they tell about the big terrible things they've done--and the big wonderful things they'll do. Their hopes and their regrets, their loves and their hates. All very large, because nobody ever brings anything small into a bar. And then--I introduce them to Harvey. And he's bigger and grander than anything they offer me. And--and when they leave, they leave impressed. The same people seldom come back, but--that's--that's envy, my dear. There's a little bit of envy in the best of us. That's too bad. Isn't it? (Mary Chase,

What beauty; what monstrosity!

The fugal section of the
Dance, Dance, Dance keeps expanding, and I can't seem to find a way to end it. The piece still lacks details and some sections feel flat. Talked to Bob for quite a stretch of time about the old soirées, and how much we miss those neighbourhood bars in which life is not just a matter of sharing seeds.

I'm hoping to sleep at a decent hour tonight. I feel rather tired and am eager to start my week afresh.

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