I’m in the city this morning, and I’m searching for a cup of coffee. Because of health reasons, I’m on this new diet where I’m not allowed to eat anything that tastes good. I decide, then, to go over to Angelica’s Kitchen, in case they’ve got something besides oatmeal with soy milk.
My waiter is this tall, gangley kid wearing parachute pants with either tiny octopuses embroidered all over them, or skull and bones. (I’m blind.) But the main thing is he’s got a haircut like Don Draper—it’s perfectly shaved around his narrow white neck, parted OCD-style, on the side, with that bump in the front. Listen up, boys: No one looked like Don Draper then, and no one looks like him now. What you look like is that big-baby-headed Pete Campbell, whose mother probably gave him baths in the washing machine to get him that clean and white.
Little boys had that haircut, and it was totally queer back then. It took a revolution to cut it out, and it was the first thing to go—big-baby-headed ridiculous-bump haircuts for little white boys. Imagine if the latest style were to tattoo numbers to your forearm.
Anyway, the big-baby-headed waiter is talking to a lady at a table nearby, about David Lynch (of course!). He’s being obsequious, and she’s being herself: a sixty-year-old East Village crawler, with long, lank grey hair and rimless glasses, wondering if he’s seen the new television show based on Elmore Leonard novels. She’s not a pretty woman—her clothes hang off her, and she’s an overall shade of grey—and her mixing of literary and television-y makes me sad. My generation is a joke too! We are all, all of us humans, so weird. (Can you imagine bombing Libya, while people are eating newly radiated spinach and living out of cardboard boxes nearby? Have we gone even more insane?)
Onward. They don’t serve coffee at Angelica’s Kitchen. No wonder most of the tables are empty. I have to walk back to Fourth Avenue, to Think Coffee, where everyone is so cool they’re nasty. I’ve had to switch to soy in my coffee (blech!), and they make pretty good ones there, though they do throw them at you. Like the French in the 1980s, the staff must have been told to get nicer, because everyone is smiling, and they’re playing Bob Dylan for a change.
Last night I saw a musical in a loft, the audience sitting around tables, as if they were at a cafe. The only other prop was a bed, around which the tables were placed. Guess what? Every scene (and there were a lot of them) ended with people fucking—while singing—on the tables or in the bed. Sigh. It reminds me of what Dzongsar Khyentse likes to say: that we have become so numb that we’ve had to move on from whips and chains to cheese graters.