Rants & Essays
It is Thursday night. The seat is pleathery and cold, my
knees are at an odd angle. I have been standing up for three hours and my ears
are buzzing because I was at a concert. I have been watching the pit surging
expanding, contracting, bodies periodically popping upwards and spilling
onto the security people. I am bemused and smiling and warm because I have
spent an evening with 300 (or more) of my closest slightly drunk friends. If
you ever have the chance to see Flogging Molly, you should take it.
It's late and bright (because its Times Square, and its
always bright, there) and the taxi is hurtling into the lesser dimness and I am
being punched in the gut by looming grit and grime and metal fire escapes and
it is suddenly very clear to me why so many people come to New York to run away
and join the circus.
I can almost smell the bus exhaust and stagedoor dreams. I
am trying to work out which train I am going to take back to Jersey in the
morning (because I do have to go back) and the sidestreets are tempting. It
would be so easy. That's mainly what I'm thinking 7:09? 7:49? Just duck
down that road. Get a bacon egg and cheese bagel. Get on the train to Brooklyn.
There's places but I am an archivist, not a secret agent. I can almost
taste the cheese and burnt-edge of the bagel and feel the steel pole under my
curved fingers, or see the morning-wet streets. I can smell the fish and see
the rows of neatly stacked apples and oranges. There are places. Yes. But not
tonight, or tomorrow.
The taxi drops us off and I (we) wander through the bodega,
and I am stretching the word in my mind, bo-deyyyyyga, even as I am pondering
protein drinks and the traditional offerings of black and whites and poundcakes
and muffins. I am fractured and cannot decide what I want for breakfast (I am
sensible, purchasing for the morning to come) but in the end I go with what is
the least complicated, the tastes my tongue already knows. I am filled with
love when the counterman drops two straws in my bag, for my two drinks, because
that is one of my most favorite New York things a small thing, a silly
thing, my affection for straws dispensed automatically.
I drank a Coke before bed, even though I was exhausted and
still a little high off the music. It was cold and tasted a little like the can
and a little like the straw, the way I remember and the way I like it. I can
feel all the muscles in my knees and most of the ones in my hips, the airbed is
broken, I am using my sweater for a pillow and I have to get up at an unholy
hour, but that's fine.
There are places, and then there is this place, New York,