November 10, 2010
NEW YORK—This is a good time to be in the Bagel. Walking briskly under changing autumn skies amid colors that still carry their summer clothes is inspiring. Heaven knows I need it. Early morning means judo training—hangover or not—and in foggy days I walk as if in a trance through the park, longing to reach the dojo before the yellow mist envelops me. After training it’s as if a heavy load was lifted from my shoulders. Literally. The heavy-duty training I’m putting in now will pay its dividends next year. That’s how it goes, judo-wise, karate-wise, tennis-wise, sport-wise. It’s like nature: One has to plant in order to reap, unlike fellow Greeks, who reaped long before thinking of planting. I hear the Big Olive is a sad place these days. Shops have closed throughout the capital, and people are losing their life’s savings. Those responsible are swanning around in their Mercedes-Benzes instead of being locked up. But back to nature.
Big Bagel parks are amazing. They are well hidden among the cement-and-glass jungle, but there’s woodland galore within hiking distance of the Empire State Building. Hiking trails encompass ponds, hills, and valleys, speckled at this time of year with maple leaves and brush crisscrossing these woodlands. North of Manhattan, in the Bronx, one can see deer, pheasant, falcons, and even snakes, not to be confused with that infamous borough’s drug dealers and criminals. My favorites are the hawks I see on my way to torture in the dojo, circling up above, red-tailed and ever vigilant. Yep, there is nothing like an autumn palette of dazzling yellows and vibrant reds to prepare one to be squashed by an Uzbek gorilla, Alisher, “like Sheraton,” as he tells other squashed suckers.
Otherwise things are hunky-dory. The Dems took a licking at the polls and are now whistling Dixie, as they say. Actually they’re whining like the brats they are, no one more than old unmarried bag Maureen Dowd, who believes everyone should vote the way she sees it. She cries out loud twice a week in another old hag’s pages, but that’s nothing new. What bothers me even more is that the right has misinterpreted the elections as a mandate for more war. During World War I, German front-line soldiers called those rear pigs Etappenschweine, which is what I call the neocons. The Confederate Army called them croakers, skedaddlers, and tree dodgers. I prefer yellow-bellied cowards and sofa samurai. None of them have learned their lesson, but they wouldn’t, would they?