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January 7, 2002
The Does, Jonathan and Jennifer

Our area had its first fatality during the years' switchover. While male in his 50s or 60s, no ID, no home, and enough alcohol to cover the difference. Same old news, except this time it doesn't begin to approach Afghanistan. It'll be a cold winter, as far south as Crete, judging by today's news.

Meanwhile, the war has given us the following:

banana with U.S. flag

love it or leave it

    SUV limo

    As I'm sure you're well aware, if we don't drive the biggest cars we can find, the terrorists win. That's what Alice says. Well, that's what the kid in an Italian suit told her.

Staten Island

Alice's lifelong dream has been to "ride in one of those things" anyway, to be treated like the lucky people once. First come having the nails done, of course, thanks to the twenty Sven gave her. In the morning. There's Kim's salon around the corner, by the courthouse. She sees the sign when the cops drive past it once a month; she's in the back seat, only it's no limo. It is a warm shower (with a hose and industrial-strength car scrubber but still) and a lukewarm meal, though.

The limo would be something else. The fries would be super-size, for one, not just large. That's the way to go. It is, she'll be told, the way of the beautiful people.

"Would you like seconds?" the boys from across the river ask as they drive her around and watch her eat. "What do you say," someone will ask, "let's try to get her past the door at Madame X." Oh that's a riot. But they end up just letting her out by her dumpster a little past midnight, with another $20 bill "for her trouble." Later in the night, it'll start snowing and she'll climb inside.

Wake up, Elmont, your Alice is in the compactor tonight...

Staten Island


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All text and images © Aziz Gökdemir's Archive unless otherwise indicated or credited. The current banner photo was taken in southern Turkey in June 2000. "Alice" and "Elmont" of Staten Island (with apologies to Garry Trudeau) photographed in May 2001. Post-Sept. 11, 2001 photos taken in the Washington, D.C. area with borrowed sucky digital camera. The banana is a direct scan.

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