Skip to content
Newspapers infrastructure


An Ongoing Dilemma—Barbara Grapples With Uncertainty

An Ongoing Dilemma — Barbara Grapples With Uncertainty

The world — at least New York City, where I was — seemed to be falling apart when I met Rochelle in 1991. This scared me, and for If I’m Talking, Why Aren’t You Listening, the performance piece that brought the two of us together, I wrote Infrastructure.” Has anything happened since then to make the world any less scary? I’m not sure.


I’m not sure about the Lincoln Tunnel, a tile here, tile there picked clean off the wall. 

I’m not sure about the first glass of water you get in that too busy coffee shop on the corner of Fifth Street and Second Avenue. It comes straight to your table from a cloudy glass and lunch tray tower that’s been standing behind the counter all day.

I’m not sure about taking the Times off the top of the stack outside the newsstand. 

I’m not sure just how clean the toilet is in a house where everyone is so organic they don’t use Lestoil to wash the floor.

But I’m really not sure that when I step down, the sidewalk will meet my feet. I’m not sure. I’ve got a history in this city.