or thirteen, sitting on that green bench in the late
sixties or early seventies, me and Michael Zucker
who was much more savvy and world-weary
than I, when I asked him to please explain
the meaning of the words to a song by Carly
Simon, who was simply gorgeous—that much was
plain—after we'd resolved the essential question
of whether or not she was wearing a bra
in that photo of her with the blue top and thick
lips on her album cover. "I don't get it," I said.
"'You're so vain. You probably think this song is about you.'
But the song IS about him, isn't it?" I asked Zucker,
holding my palm up in the air like one who is
trying to ascertain the truth about whether or not
it has started to rain. Zucker looked away then,
gingerly fingering the green slats, as though he were
reading the carved names of the lovers and obscenities
tactually. Then he took a deep breath and exhaled
miserably, took the album cover out of my hands
and gazed awhile at Carly Simon who was gorgeous,
famous, braless, and older than me and Zucker put together.
"That's the point," he said. "She's in love with him."