Diary Entry for Sunday, September 2nd
New York is an active lunatic asylum. All the mad here are allowed freest reign… If anyone protests against anyone else’s insanity, they are in turn labelled crazy. Or worse, they’re considered hicks who can’t understand the incredibly complex nature of these very important New York relationships. But they are all mad.
Monday, September 3rd … Labor Day
Slept until 3 PM. Very serious rains now for over a week – all day long and all the night through. The leak in my bathroom ceiling has grown larger, I can hear water flowing down inside the walls, really like little waterfalls!
Went up to the roof and discovered along the parapet above my apartment a long gash. Water is cascading along the roof, but instead of flowing into the gutter is pouring into the gash. It looks as like our building would have collapsed long ago if there wasn’t another building holding it up on that side.
Rains continuing, water now rushing along inside the walls. I listen to it draining into the basement apartment/lake below me. The tenant there has had to vacate, men running back and forth this AM trying to pump it out. Though by the time I am home after six the tides are rising again. When the storm goes wild and there’s a cloudburst, water prettily spurts from the dozens of old nail-holes in my walls. This makes an amusing anecdote but in reality it’s quite terrifying.
Wednesday, September 5th
Everyone on my side of the building is freaking out. I think no-one is left in the building, it’s kind of a disaster area. I met my upstairs neighbor Boris who is a pornographer. He writes those crappy little books you see everywhere… his specialty is lesbianism…
He invited me up and I just had to see his place. I can’t believe people live like that. Nasty, begrimed single bed without a scrap of linen: filthy pillow and unspeakable blanket. Empty food cans sitting around, a total cliche all the way down to the one bare light bulb hanging from a string in the middle of the dead-aired green-painted room. He was garbed for company in a slimy towelling bathrobe which I kept expecting to fly open.
The man himself is short, scrawny, pasty and eager. I don’t believe his real name is Boris. I would wager Herman, or better: Hymie.
His whole ceiling is sagging on the north side. He said he is waiting for the landlord to check him into a hotel.
Have not slept for two nights. It is as if the building were about to come unmoored and float away. Though it’s not raining tonight, water keeps rising in the basement, now from some other underground source… There could be a stream flowing under us, I’ve heard there are such things in the Village. Boris knocked on my door to let me know rats have been seen. The landlord hasn’t come through with his hotel room yet.
The cats are acting strange, they keep trying to get out. I can’t let them, I don’t want them wet and sooty. I have to wash Sorensen at least once a week, being white he gets completely grimy from going around in the courtyard. Cleaning frenzy with all the rain, threw out all the rugs, leftover from the former tenant anyhow, starting to mildew. Cockroaches lively.
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