I should be riding pretty high, Constant Reader. Granted, we’re still in a pandemic, there’s war in Europe, gas prices are high, and there’s mobs of howling fascists everywhere – but other than that I’m doing pretty good. By which I mean that I successfully completed a short one-act in time to submit it to the prominent opportunity I was keen to submit for, one for which I’d never submitted anything until now. I also spent much of the past week making travel arrangements for something I’m doing later in Jun e, involving another of my scripts – I’ll have more information about that in coming weeks, once I’m absolutely certain that none of the Horsemen of the Apocalypse are galloping along to disrupt my plans. So, with the proviso that the world could any time, I had a good week.
So naturally I went and ruined it for myself on Saturday. Or not. It’s debatable.
You see, I have another submission deadline coming up at the end of the month for another ten-minute one-act, for which I’m now starting the research. And for this research, it turns out I need to track down an out-of-print book on the occult, which the New York library system happens not to carry. (It is highly unlikely that anybody who knows me is at all surprised by that sentence.) Not to worry, I thought – I had the day free Saturday, and New York has the miles and miles of stacks to be found in the Strand bookstore. Surely, a jaunt into Manhattan (pandemic notwithstanding) would do me good, and anything I might want could be found in the Strand’s stacks.
Except for this book, apparently.
No matter – there’s an occult knick-knack store down the street from the Strand. A short walk over there, and – I was still out of luck. And heading back home, I saw that I could switch trains and get off at an earlier stop to check out a similar store in Brooklyn – which also didn’t have what I needed. So now, having struck out three times and being completely off of my usual route, I walked all way down Coney Island Avenue to Brighton Beach, to wander along the Boardwalk until I could catch the D train there, walking for hours to no effect, the sunlight waning, the day wasted.
Except it wasn’t wasted, of course.
Some days – especially after being trapped indoors for months on end – you need to walk your city. You need to explore. You need to taste a vegan cookie from the farmer’s market. You need to see what the street vendors are selling now. You need to learn the shops and restaurants and weird cul-de-sacs on streets you haven’t walked down before. You need to see the Coney Island Beach before the tourists have returned and remind yourself it’s still there. And if this all sounds like p4rocrastination, well at least it’s procrastination that clears the head and gets in your daily cardio.
Plus it turns out I can order this book online. I’ll probably do that tomorrow.