Where the Streets Have no Mane

Yesterday, under springy gray skies fertile with threatened rain, I poke down Court Street for my weekly brunching joust with coffee.

I’ve got the new Philip Roth in my bag, and the night before Pierre and I met this year’s Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout on tap at the Waterfront, with predictable results. The day turns out to be a bit later and thinner than one would imagine, and that’s fine by me.

Walking south toward Warren Street I hear a strange, keening, synethic drone, like the baseline beatbox browse of a dance percussion track. It’s a warm, burling sound, imprecise and enveloping. You know those urban sounds that come without an obvious source, all echo and skip? I look for street musicians playing to a backing track, perhaps, or avant hipsters grooving the afternoon to ambient electronica.

And as I pass the 24-hour deli by Bergen Street there is the source: a homeless guy sitting on a milk crate, singing into the crook of a cane, over and over: “Meow, meow, meow, meow, meow, meow, meow.” His face is serene, as if this is the most ordinary thing in the world. He must be a Leo.

4 Responses to “Where the Streets Have no Mane”

  1. Harvey Says:

    Probably just has a Meow Mix commercial stuck in his head. Earworms can be such a bitch :-)

  2. Linus Says:

    I want chicken
    I want liver
    I want tuna
    Please deliver…

    I see what you mean, actually.

  3. Moze Says:

    Good choice of book. I’m becoming a major Roth fan.

  4. Linus Says:

    Moze, it’s a very good book. I find I prefer his earlier stuff, up through about the Zuckerman trilogy - the writing was more vital and muscular, and his quality of observation more rushed and pointed. Roth has gotten patient and rounded in maturity, but it was the brazen hothead who first caught my attention, and I miss that part of him.

    So I enjoy this - but it moves deliberately and without urgency. A virtue in this brooding story, perhaps.

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