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It was like a tawdry oil painting of Mount Fuji. To the right was a view of Mount Tokachi against a backdrop of clear blue sky. To the left, the highlands unfurled into rolling hills along the vast expanse of land. The black line curving into the foreground was the railroad to Kushiro, and where water sparkled in the sunlight, the twisting contours of the Tokachi River were made known.
When a death is expected—as in the case of a family member, such as a parent—perhaps an elderly parent—or even more specifically, in the case of one’s father, for example—decisions must be made as to the means of final disposition of the body.
So we meet on the subway and go for coffee in a place on Macdougal Street, right around the corner from the West 4th Street subway stop on 6th Avenue. Caffe Reggio, it’s been there forever, from the time Macdougal was the center of the universe, when Bob Dylan, Joan Baez, Dave Van Ronk, Mimi and Richard Farina and Phil Ochs used to perform free in all the nightclubs and coffeehouses, like The Gaslight, The Fat Black Pussycat and the Cafe Wha.
The tangible life of life forms—these have been made into the various moving shapes within us and given a slippery shake, a sliding powdery shimmer, a certain time and an assembled space within our own generally unbounded history.