The East Village

Jo Ann Wasserman

Do you have grievences? what if you are the baby? the stranger? the center of photographs and answer to the question, "How could any of this have happened?" or the crisis moment of a proletarian novel? what if you were the one who had traveled? the girl who bought five copies all in the first week? what if you were first, the one she was obliged to do it for, to have the conversation to set out in snow storm and the one practically ignored the one who mixed up the dressing (little salad maker)? or the one asking, "do you think this is a good life, any of you?" (the little bit we all could agree on) the one exaggerating casualty reports or a particularly tactless answer to the unnaturally green veneer he chose for a coffee table? what if you were the one out in snow watching cars coming out of what if you could not reproduce, the illustrations, moment by moment whispering instructions? solving the problem of sudden loud noise first before the others even hear, "hey listen to this?" or the one who traveled to the Medici palace in December? (the three litre bottles are near empty and I traveled all this way to find that what was not agreed upon was the most important part, little use) what if in the pictures, and outside of them, they all look untrustworthy? first just spacey but then more ceramic, uncertain, completely dazed, unable to answer even the easy ones about corkscrews and filmstars? not the sort of thing that in the moment inspires a hell of a lot of confidence or one more time when a motorcycle appears in the snow we donšt take the ride, at least that is how I remember it kept walking in the snow in a purple hat, wherever the hell we were going and what if all of it had traveled into the basement? and you are the one to find hundreds of little pictures separate moments? people you donšt know but she is crying over hundreds of little people and you say "do you know these people?" and she means no but is crying "no answer" what if you just want the Tot-Finder Fire Sticker put up? or something because you are the first one at school and learning about something, fire-safety, and you ask her, "First can you do this for me, put this up for me?" because you are too small and the snow has collected on the window panes, "it should go in the window," you say but there is no answer and what if you were then convinced living without this red sticker would mean they traveled for nothing and you were all going to die in a fire and this kept you up at night a little worried about fire, natural disasters, bombs and brain cancer all which can happen any moment unquestionably due to conditions or to something food and soil based because "at any moment," she says, "everything could fall apart," or it has already and she is crying over the photograph first saying nothing and what if you said donšt cry it will be alright even though youšre the little one and would like the fucking Tot-Finder Fire-Sticker in the fucking window because the snow is pretty high against the windows? and you are sure that if there was (they traveled often)a fire or natural disaster or brain cancer well then no one would ever know you or answer and you would call and there would be no answer wait a moment perhaps they had traveled and forgotten to tell you first and you set out in light snow walking to get away, yeah, you have some issues, a little