6/27/02 Sometime in the winter


Sometime in the winter of 1987, the much-lauded actor Fred Weller, some other bros and I were walking home from a party in a late-night winter flurry. Some girl was with us and was horrified when we all pulled out our units and began to write our names in the snow. “That’s totally disgusting,” she said, and without missing a beat, Fred turned around, member in hand, and said, “This, my dear, is why cursive was invented.”

It’s a memory that occurs to me almost every day on 8th Avenue, where each neighborhood dog has left a curlyque trail of pee-pee that looks like all of them were having a terrible time spelling their names. “Daisy” one seems to read. “Morton” reads another.

Our dog Chopin, who has terrible cursive, eschews such displays as ostentatious and crude. He only pees on solid objects, and always manages to stop before moving on. He also prefers to poop on those big subway air vent grates, but will accept cobblestones, basement shafts, or anything with a lattice-like appearance if nothing else looks promising. Among other things, he hates bicyclists, skateboarders, rollerbladers, or any person that appears to be moving much too fast for how much work they seem to be exerting.

They say you take on the characteristics of your roommates, and I must admit, every time I see someone hopping on a scooter, I don’t quite trust them; when a delivery guy blows by on his bike, I growl a little and when I walk over a subway grate, I really just want to poop.

Chopin poses, disdainfully, in front of a sidewalk lined with the embarrassingly bad cursive of his neighborhood peers

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