So where is my mojo?
I had it when I left New York. Of course that was a long time ago, 48 years ago to be exact (being exact is, by the way, highly overrated).
When I moved to Massachusetts I took it off. Actually it just fell right off of its own accord. But I picked it up and put it aside. First on the dresser in my apartment in Cambridge, later in my basement in my first house, then in a clearly marked box in a series of houses, ready to be reclaimed or at least remembered.
Now, however, over this past weekend, I went looking for it but I just cannot find it. Anywhere. Have you seen it, perchance?
Why did I go looking? Thought you would never ask.
Each week I get my New Yorker magazine and I read it or pretend to. But it has been getting harder and harder and, truth be told, this last issue wholly eluded me. When in New York, even as a teen or college student, mojo insouciantly draped over my shoulders, I would flip through the magazine to guffaw at the cartoons, then go back and read the articles, or at least most of them, and even try the poems if they weren’t too long.
So Saturday morning I took the new issue and started flipping. I ignored the loose reply mail subscription cards that fluttered down at my feet. Starting at the back (easier to flip that way, and the cartoon don’t require a front-to-back sequence), I began reading. Could not understand the humor in a single one. Not one. Tried again for irony, the new vocabulary of a jaded age. No resonance there. A third read for mere cleverness, a grin-inducing perception—nada.
As for the articles, suffice it to say that the topics after the first few news-related pieces did not resonate, but felt more like inside jokes written by people whose names I did not recognize but sensed that I should have.
Is it the magazine or me? I must believe in my heart of hearts that the professionals who produce the magazine—this is THE New Yorker, for Godssake, not Mad, not that most useless of all publications, the scrap paper packaged as the magazine “Boston”—still had their totally cool finger on the wry experiences, the anomalies for which New Yorkers are ever attuned and which are recorded faithfully and promptly in their eponymous magazine.
It’s gotta be me. I gotta get my New York edge back. I need my mojo. I haven’t much needed it in Boston; you need none in the suburbs of course, and being an attorney is not so much a matter of true mojo as it is a drill in chutzpah.
So I went through my basement. I went through my attic. I went through my memory. I am not lying, I am telling you it is lost. Gone. No clue, no resinous residue of remembrance where it once was stored. Just plain lost in time.
I threw out the magazine. I feel better.