On Second Avenue, a girl in a south-bound bus (her surname appeared 963 times in the Bronx directory) said, —But he don’t even know my name. —Who don’t? —The lipstick man, he was in today. I found out he’s single. —Is he hansome? —He’s not really handsome, he’s more what you might say inneresting looking. With my hair and my complexion he says I ought to wear teeshans red. My favorite movie star…
On First Avenue, a girl in a north-bound bus (who used the same lipstick as her favorite movie star) said, —My doctor told me to ride this bus, he says maybe that’ll bring it on.
In a Lexington Avenue bar, a man in Santa Clause suit said, —Hey Barney, let’s have one here, first one today. The bartender was saying— It’s just the same as Brooklyn, irregardless… —That’s what I say, if you serve food you gotta have a rest room for the ladies as well as men. A woman said, —Where do you come from? —Out on Long Island, Jamaica. —Jewmaica you mean. —Yeh? So where do you come from. —Never mind. —Yeh, never mind, I know where, it’s nothing but a bunch of Portuguese and Syssirians where you come from up there.
—William Gaddis, from The Recognitions (1955)
see also: No Tiene Nada Gowanus