I've been working out a lot lately and my wrists are killing
me. I am completely embarrassed that the most exerted part of
my body these days has been my wrists. I didn't ask for this.
But I brought it upon myself, I suppose. Balancing a lot of writing
jobs (which is good) with a few writing desires (even better).
Found this sign
on the street late last week. This will sound trite, I know, but
it's one of those small details that makes you appreciate living
in New York City. Sometimes, just sometimes, it delivers on the
promise of movies and literature (but mostly movies, because literature
tends to romanticize actual minutiae rather than painting in wide,
romantic strokes the way movies do). Every now and again you'll
have a perfect, magical moment -- a real sense of tiny wonder
-- that would seem very possible in any number of small cities
but approaches divine intervention in a city with this kind of
An example: last night, on my way to my jazzercise class, I put
an acquaintance of mine into my head. doesn't matter why, but
I did. At the crosswalk, in front of the flatiron building, I
was suddenly seized with the need to crane my head and look behind
me. My friend who, just a few moments ago, was a citizen of my
imagination, appeared in physical form, on her way to macaroni
collage group therapy. It's the kind of coincidence that would
not seem significant in a small town but is somehow life-affirming
in New York.
I think it's because in New York you leave your house each day
and instantly feel like a stranger. How can you possibly compete
with anonymity when you spend your days stuffed into subway cars
with 80 different strangers every single day? There is very little
repetition here; change is like oxygen. Makes you appreciate your
neighbors -- even the schizophrenic ones who pee in your elevator.
I donate spare change to the scroungers (or call em what you
will -- vagrants, derelicts, hobos, bums, panhandlers, tramps,
bagpeople, indigents, drifters, vagabonds, bindle stiffs, homeless,
addicts, liberal arts majors) in my neighborhood more often than
I probably should. Sometimes it's because I feel guilty for "needing"
that black-and-white cookie, but mostly I think I hand them money
because the ritualized action - I mean, I am counting on seeing
this same person with the same story and the same cracked, leather
palm extended - soothes me. Makes me feel like a regular, which
is invaluable here.
I am becoming a sentimental fool. I promise to make fun of senior
citizens or epileptics next time. Just to clear my conscience.