Wednesday, June 20, 2007


I’ll never forget the day I parachuted into the walled island of Manhattan on assignment – very much against my will – to rescue the President, whose plane had crashed but whose crash-proof pod had landed intact. The authorities were getting strong signal from his personal transponder, but to stage a recovery op they needed someone who could navigate the city’s complex criminal hierarchy and treacherous back alleys. That’s where I came in.

It’s twelve years later. While I never did find that darned president, I did get a series of comfortable temp jobs and had some extremely limited, tiny success writing pieces for the “Internet,” which at the time was a source of limitless money that ran on a crank and pulley system from someplace on the west coast. I had friends who worked there. Later, after getting in good with the thugs who ran the island (from their heatproof dome in the volcano located under Grand Central Terminal), I was given a temp job at a well-known company in the recycling industry, where I quickly became a permanent employee and rose to some prominence as the one least likely to quit. Failed again, I suppose.

Having some years ago moved to the outlying farming districts (principle crops: onions, McMansions, tree stumps), but bound by honor and paycheck to make a daily pilgrimage to the city (especially daunting because it meant being fitted for a new customized high-velocity parachute harness and dropped from 6,000 feet every morning, then digging through the base of the wall with a spoon and swimming through the nematode-enthickened waters of the Harlem River every afternoon around 5:30 to make the mainland to get home in time for dinner), I sought in vain some way out of my predicament. Rescue came this year, in the form of a squad of revolutionaries from Westchester who rappelled in armed with an excellent benefits package and a job description. I accepted their gracious offer, but, of course, was apprehended digging through the wall.

Which is why you find me live-blogging from a small platform set over a pool of lava in the catacombs below 42nd and Lex, tied to a rather comely woman who attempted to help me escape (to my wife: I’ve never met her before, I have no idea who she is and besides, I think she’s going to betray me), with only my trusty laptop, oh, and Blackberry and cell phone — uh, and my PDA, thumb drive, VPN token and headphones — to help me get out alive.

The barbarian overlords of this granite and steel enclave shouldn’t have brought me here, of course, so close to the heart of their base, because naturally once I’ve used Google’s new UnderStreetView™ to research the best way out of here, I’ll be passing by the vault containing the bagel and pizza recipes that are the source of their stranglehold on power (it’s not “the water,” people). Easily overpowering the overly-complacent guards, I’ll take those with me, thank you very much, and be on my way, synchronizing my departure perfectly with the eruption of said volcano and the destruction of the entire complex. Which will work out nicely, because it’s June and everyone will want to be in the Hamptons anyway and they’ll get everything cleaned up by Labor Day.

In other words, it’s my last day here. Thanks for the adventure, New York. See you soon.


Anonymous said...

Bill- Best of luck to you in the next chapter of your career. I'm sure you you will kick much arse and take many, many names.

Amy Plum said...

Wow - huge huge day! Are you still going to be exurbituding? What is the new commute like? Hope it's as picturesque as this one.

Anonymous said...

Great post. Coincidentally I made my final trip to NYC yesterday (6-20) as well, as I am leaving my current job for one that will require far less travel. Mixed feelings as I pulled out of Penn Station on the 5:45 last night -- hope for the future, but some regrets at leaving so much behind. I'm sure you're confronting many of the same thoughts; good luck!

Anonymous said...

Keep the wind at your back and the adventures alive in your head, wherever you may commute next. Cheers, V.

Anonymous said...

If they ever make a movie about the chapter of your life described in this post, I can only hope that they get a young Kurt Russell (eye patch and all) to play you. Accompanied by some subtle, yet compelling, voice over narration - courtesy of yours truly, of course.