To live in a house that is haunted...
It should come as no surprise to anyone who's read this blog (and after four months absence does anyone still?), that Cohen is a hero of mine. And so what, big deal, get in line, right? I guess that's part of it, realizing the absurdity of thinking that one's admiration for anyone or anything in the world goes beyond anyone else's. Still, for a boy to grow up a stone's throw away from Murray Hill and to idolize the man and his work from an early age, hell to use his words to name your blog...it's hard not to possess a vague sense of entitlement, however misplaced. Mostly in recent years it was just how often friends of mine had come across him randomly on the street, and then seen him again, while I never did. Leonard Cohen: the twentieth century's greatest poet, or my own personal polkaroo?
In the end there wasn't even an encounter, just the most superficial of sightings...but how else? I sat, about to eat, looking through a window while he prepared to cross the street. Unmistakable of course. A young girl was jogging past him, and must have made some kind of gesture of recognition because he nodded casually before crossing. As he walked up the street after crossing and out of my view, another woman, came walking towards where I sat in the opposite direction. She saw me lean over to catch the last glimpse I could and we caught each other smiling in the moment, she obviously also aware of the little lovely nothing that had transpired, as if to say, 'there he went'.
I've wondered sometimes, what I would say if I ever came upon him in a context that called for words. But I think I like this version best. A relay of knowing silent nods with a couple women on the Main seems best. Much better that it be wordless, and as close to meaningless as possible.