Important things seem to be escaping me," laments Frank Bascombe in Richard Ford's "The Lay of the Land." It's a familiar refrain for the writer turned real-estate agent, who spends most of his days tooling around suburban New Jersey (in his Suburban) trying to sell houses and worrying over just about everything.
Maybe the most surprising thing about the collapse of the World Trade Towers was that, until the moment the south tower actually fell into itself in eerily quiet slow motion, no one suspected it could happen.I live about 15 blocks from the complex, and I started walking toward the buildings as soon as I saw the first plane attack on the morning news.
The United States, already far and away the murder capital of the civilized world, could be headed for its bloodiest year ever. Though nationwide statistics are not available yet, many of the country's cities are showing sharp increases in killings for the first months of 1990 compared to a year ago.
The lighting was bad, the figures blurred, the sound barely audible. But however murky, the long-awaited and much ballyhooed "sting video" in the Marion Barry trial delivered what prosecutors had promised: pictures of the mayor of Washington, D.C., caught in the act of smoking crack cocaine.
Narcotics agents in Orange County, Calif, have been getting unexpected results lately when they field-test the purity of seized cocaine: instead of the deep royal-blue indicating high-grade powder, the cops are more often seeing a pale shade, showing that the drug has been heavily "stepped on," or diluted.
He will ride through the canyons of Manhattan in the biggest ticker-tape parade since the Mets won the '86 World Series. He will chat with President George Bush in the White House, lunch with the Kennedy clan in Boston and visit Martin Luther King Jr.'s tomb in Atlanta.