Perhaps it will not surprise you to learn that I had a “tortured hipster” phase approximately two decades ago.
You could have found me one night at 2 a.m., at the counter in a diner on York Avenue on the Upper East Side, drinking my sixth cup of coffee and writing a poem.
The poem narrated how a group of Manhattan Indians would have landed their canoes down the hill from where I sat, long before York Avenue, or FDR Drive, or 72nd Street were even thought of, when there were mountain lions in what became Central Park.
The idea of the poem was supposed to be: the streetmap we think we have for life does not in fact give us the true lay of the land.
Basically, my nineteen-year-old self was whining about not having been given a more comprehensive “blueprint” for life during my upbringing. I felt like I needed a better, a deeper, a more truly realistic existential map.
Then I crumpled up the paper in disgust. Because I realized: that was exactly the type of thing that my father would think.