Swimming to Manhattan

A personal journey to Spalding Gray’s Memorial Service in NYC
Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts
April 13th, 2004

by John Boland (aka ‘Ratz Garcia’)

Dedicated to Kathie, Melissa, Theo, Forrest … and Spalding

Day 3 – in the Bowery

(suggested music - I’ll Fly Away by Boxcar Willie)

Bowery’s White House
340 Bowery
NY, NY, 10012
212 477 5623

That’s what someone writes back to the email I had sent:

E. Jay Sims
March, 2004
a hostel frequented by euros... cheap, nice red-white-blue decor,
convenient to subways etc.

E. Jay Sims
..... Web Designer =
..... List of Clients =
..... Artist Resume =
..... Virtual Gardens =

Thanks E…

One other person replies with good wishes.
That’s almost a 5% response – pretty good in a statistical survey – sucks in a Spudness sense.

So I begin to think. How many labels had Spalding carried around. Crazy, neurotic, obsessive, paranoid, phobic, narcissistic…I can hear hysterical, drunk, manic and even various sorts of personality disorders.

I begin to think that possibly his narcissisms (the ultimate being somehow performed on the Staten Island Ferry), meant that many Spuddies (Spud heads) are also narcissistic (in a nice way…) - including myself of course. There is a little or a lot in many of us. But 95%? That seems kinda high…Then again, if all I need is one tip, then perhaps… oh, that doesn’t sound narcissistic enough…

This is the way my mind is thinking. But at least I have a place to possibly stay.

For some reason, it looks better on the web page… I think I might have been influenced by the price:
Safe, clean, private air-conditioned, accommodations in the heart of the City - starting at $27.25 per night ($35 in 2010).

Then there is the small concern over how to get back from an internet prospector from down under – Now maybe they do some things to a fabulous proportion, but internet prospectors aren’t on my high list. Let’s say your in India. Visualize being in Benares (Varanasi) on the ghats, looking up at the temples along the river and way at the very top of the highest temple, about 3 feet from the top, there’s a line with 1934 written beside it. That’s the line of the flood level in 1934. That’s my definition of high. Well, those prospectors are the exact opposite in low. They find so-called famous people that have not reserved their internet names for a domain of an internet web site. It is actually illegal. But it would have cost about 4 grand to just start a case.

So this is the plan: Spalding never replied to this, Kathie wrote something like ‘glad you’re taking care of this’.

  1. Don’t remind fabulous that this would be our start up cost – unless they mention it, and then say well we are adding that to the lawsuit… something like that.
  2. Dedicating part of my life to winning back the intellectual property know as ‘’ – if I need to dedicate parts of this and that to this and that, I thought that this and that should at least be handy and helpful.
  3. If fabulous didn’t dance, I’d write to all the advertisers on the phony page and announce that all Spalding Gray fans were going to be asked to boycott their product until they dropped their ads on the page. Other good ideas up our sleeves.

Now it seems like an aside. At the time, it didn’t. My daughter and I get into an argument over my going to NYC. She wants money to go to San Fran to see a friend and she wants to leave the school year early to go to the cottage (air flight). I yell at her for the first time in 14 years. I become very depressed.

(As I write this up later, my daughter left home as soon as I went to NYC and has only dropped in briefly since – see dad, we could have gone to the cottage – I’m not going to school! Oh, and fuck you…)

back to Day 2 | on to Day 4