Scraps: “The Fun of It”

The more people told him about the pleasures of New York City, the more firmly convinced he became that he should never, ever visit it.

Would there be banyans? There absolutely would not. Would people resent him for existing? They absolutely would. Would things go wrong? Inevitably so. “That’s the fun of it,” they said. “It’s about experience.” This, to him, was Fool’s Logic.

“But you’re a writer,” girls would tell him. “A writer has to know, a writer can’t close his eyes.” He disagreed. He would prove that a writer could close his eyes.

The central problem was that he enjoyed being happy. In New York City, it seemed as if he would spend most of his time ducking unnecessary obstacles. He would either be killed by a police officer, or, even worse, accidentally kill a police officer himself. There would be unexpected clangs in the night, untimely collisions with taxicabs. He would always be in trouble with doormen and conductors, always noticing the sewage lagoon one footstep too late. “Never expose yourself without cause,” he had once read on an advertisement, and he took the slogan to heart.

But stubborn refusal cannot itself comprise a worldview, and soon he found himself on 125th St., his suitcase stolen and his subway-pass lost in a storm-drain.

“Buggering shit,” he muttered, before being killed by a police officer.