New York Tales from Curious Borough Dwellers

022 : Jónas Knútsson On Waverly Place, Greenwich Village, Manhattan
Born 20th Century in Reykjavik, Iceland. Jónas Knútsson currently works as a filmmaker, a translator and a journalist. Why New York? The Modern Rome. He digs the following Gotham bits: The Lower East Side, pickles, museums, Broadway and Italian cherry ices. Jónas Knútsson's favorite meal in New York is a cheeseburger deluxe, with a big juicy pickle in a diner with a name like "Cozy Burger," followed by a slice of cheesecake. For more info on Jónas Knútsson you should send an email or visit www.blueprintreview.de/about_Jonas_Knutsson.htm.

image: Reid Schwartz

“I've been shot twenty-seven times!”

Next door to my apartment in the Village is a private ballroom. On weekends the patrons invade the neighborhood in stretch limos and whoop it up in the perfectly sound-proof den of iniquity, only to pour into the street as the feast draws to a close. The rest is pandemonium, a few feet from my one-way bedroom window. I never peek out as the incorporeal chorus lulls me to sleep.

A brawl. An older man keeps hollering, but the flow of his riff is never broken. I assume no one chooses to engage him.

“I’ve been shot twenty-seven times. Twenty-seven times I’ve been shot.”

During the ruckus, no one says a word except the guy bellowing, “I’ve been shot, twenty-seven times.”

The racket dies down. But the man keeps on shouting about being shot twenty-seven times. The ramblers have either gone home or been beaten to a pulp. But the man goes on shrieking, “I’ve been shot twenty-seven times.”

At last he falls silent.

Maybe he had been shot twenty-seven times.

“We need treatment.”

The woman is hysterical. She calls the man “son of a bitch,” “motherfucker.”

Every accusation is countered with the mantra, “We need treatment, baby. We need therapy.”

The man starts crying. The woman breaks into tears as well, but her torrent of rage flows uninterrupted: “You motherfucking son of a bitch. You son of a bitch motherfucker.”

“We need treatment,” the man concludes.

A long silence follows.

As I drift off into my long-deserved slumber, a lonely grumble ruptures the fragile silence outside:

“I’ve been shot twenty-seven times.”

location information


017That's when I knew I wanted to live in New York: in the midst of those fragile bralets and bodysuits.— Ling Ma

016The guns, we tell the police later, were black like ice.— Tara Deal

015...my own talisman against the folly of my youth.— Andrea Jarrell

014Y'all in a band'r somethin'?— Abraham

013Perhaps it was the lanky teenager with the bright red book-bag that made me think I saw Adam.— Carrie Teicher

012I remember flattening myself against the streaky windows of the PATH train like an insect.— Erin Fisher

011I glanced up to see another shape hit the sand.— Ken H. Judy

010Vibrating almost imperceptibly in the breeze like a woody tuning fork.— Rob Giampietro

009Then the jazz stopped and the radio said the war had started in the Middle East. — Roland Kelts

008Shirtless Boris Yeltsin’s skin reddens as he reads a book.— Michael Maiello

007Port Authority was there with open, non-judging arms.— Khoi Vinh

006His almost-loss was my almost- nonexistence.— Matthew Rand

005On the cold hard floor of the orphanage, I sang, longing for the day that they would come and rescue me.— Jen Egan

004He was a lawyer, after all.— Kristin Gardner

003The parking lot gate was open, and we ran in with the skateboard.— Lorraine Martindale

002We arrived on completely Russian streets, with Russian signs and a familiar rudeness.— Kseniya Melnik

001...the hourly clicking of Oxfords and high heels across the parking lot.— Tam Nomgum


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