Marc Spitz: The great, the good and David Bowie

jetzt.de auf Englisch: Marc Spitz, der Autor von "Wann nur, wenn nicht jetzt?" schreibt uns in diesem Sommer aus New York. Jeden Montag bekommen wir eine Nachricht aus der Stadt der Städte. Heute zum letzten Mal.
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Illustration: Julia Schubert

And now, the end is near... And so I face the final column. I've been thinking today about limitations. This column is limited to five entries. The tennis match I saw today out in Queens (which I will not write about because I fear that some of you may be smarting from Becker's elimination shortly after eliminating Agassi) was limited to like... nine freaking hours. My ability to write well is limited by being a spoiled baby who never really suffered any pain that wasn't self-inflicted (or inflicted by like, my degenerate gambler pop... or girls). Each time I write anything at all (a short story for an anthology about dogs is next up in the immediate future) I try to do something great, or at least part of me does. And sometimes, when it's working, I can achieve very good. But I don't suppose I've done anything great. There are people out there who are better than me at this. I know some of them... I go drinking with some of them, actually. And in those moments of my very goodness, sometimes I can take them out. But they will always be great and I will only be very good. There is a tennis analogy here, actually, and I should probably use it even though I swore I wouldn't talk about the U.S. Open because by the time you read this, it will be all over... Yesterday's papers and who wants them, Mick Jagger used to ask. Really. But sometimes a Number 12 or a Number 5 or a Number 8 seeded player will take on and win the Top Seeded dude or lady. It could happen tomorrow or yesterday is it were (Roddick isn't even seeded anymore is he?).

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Illustration: Julia Schubert

Let's take a moment and raise our glasses to the very good. In this city, greatness is the unspoken goal. Nobody wants to settle for "very good" and in a lot of ways, both good and er... not very good, it's made NYC what it is (great in theory). Where else, after all, can you find yourself walking up 10th Street with a dozen bagels in one hand, and your girlfriend's red and white Meg White style pair of shoes in the other (which you just picked up from the shoemaker for her cause you're a very good boyfriend if not a always a great one) and thirty seconds later, you're standing on the corner of Broadway, waiting for the light to change and realizing that Mr. David Bowie is about seventeen inches south of you, trying to hail a taxi and talking to an old lady who does not look unlike the old lady he was walking along the beach with in the "Ashes to Ashes" video. Bowie looked sort of well... let's be honest, he looked his age in recent months (as opposed to Dorian Gray-ishly young) but I guess he's been drinking the magic potions again because he looked so good I almost didn't recognize him. I shook his hand once at a Strokes show a few years ago. I went up and asked if I could. He was gracious about it. I don't normally geek out. This time, I just let him be. Fashion week is coming up and he's probably very busy. David Bowie. Sorry. I caught myself on a snag reliving that moment as I wrote this. I think I should bow out for now on that note cause it's a good thought: David Bowie. I think Katie Couric (our newest and much hyped network news anchor person) should sign off by simply telling America, "David Bowie." Every night. "And that's our world this evening... until tomorrow, David Bowie." I do hope this column has, once in a while, been very good to you, if not good for you. David Bowie.

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