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Here and Now

I killed my own summer. I took on more work than I should have, and hopefully I suffered the consequences more than my clients did. The summer is drawing to a close, though, and with its end, my schedule is finally becoming kind of manageable again. Today was the first day in ages that I was able to leave the house for something that didn’t resemble work.

In the early afternoon, I took in the latest exhibit at the Institute of Contemporary Art, curated by the wonderful Christian Marclay. Entitled Ensemble, it collects many works that make sound, either on their own or with the help of a visitor. Together in one room, they are an organism comprised of both order and spontaneity, assembled from a wide variety of materials and sonic textures, and unable to be experienced in exactly this form anywhere but 118 South 36th Street, Philadelphia, PA, right here, right now. I binged and bonged and clacked and creaked for a good long time.

Later, Superbad made me laugh my fucking face off and fondly recall those few, unforgettable, revelatory moments that occasionally dotted the landscape of my adolescence, which was otherwise characterized by perpetual discomfort. It was energizing, and I was further energized shortly afterward by a carload of college dudes that actually found me intimidating when I dared to respond to their heckles by pedaling up alongside them at the next few red lights, inquiring about where the party was. Wherever it was, I honestly would have gone. I was wired.

And so I pedaled. Past the shimmering fountains, brightly lit in dual gestures of pride and distrust. Past the thumping hot spots, drenched in cologne and illicit plans. Past the monuments, restaurants, trees, flags, families, bums, and broken glass.

I sat atop the the Art Museum steps with the tourists and lovers, observing the digital flash of the occasional Rocky emulation and contemplating a beautiful night in a beautiful city. My own partner in crime was out of town for the weekend, so I flicked through my address book, trying to find just the right person with whom to share it all, discovering that a significant number of my contacts live far away. The one local response I did get, unbound by whatever it is that makes one retire before midnight on a Saturday, summoned me across town to booze, dancing, and good company. I happily obliged, and soon after found myself slightly blotto, thoroughly sweaty, and smiling.

World Wide Web, there truly is magic weaved within your intricate strands, but oh, how wondrous are the experiences you can’t hope to emulate.