Sunday, December 2, 2007

Magic

There is something romantic about the New York City subway late at night.

And I don't mean romance in the hearts and flowers kind of way. That's not my romance. That's a postcard sold by Hallmark and Hollywood.

My romance is dark. And mysterious.

Hurtling through unknown passageways, below the scenes of our daily lives. Bright lights glowing at itermittent intervals. Shadows on the walls of a neon-lit existence.

The girl in the striped stockings.

The man in the white hat, laughing.

The hard-bitten thug, leaning gracefully out of the way as a drunk man examines the map.

My romance is everywhere, surrounding us, shrouded in routine.

This city is me, and I wonder if I will ever be able to leave.

I say, Oh, if I were to have children, I'd want to raise them elsewhere.

But the kids on my block call me "Miss," and apologize if they run into me when caught up in their games.

If those children become the adults I see in this shadowed, twilight world... how can I refuse?

My city encircles me and fills me with a sense of wonder.

The rats scurrying in the shadows make me smile, not shrink. I talk to them and call them mis ratones. This was their city before it was mine.

The smell of human waste disgusts, but a sunset behind a row of brownstones delights.

The trees outside my windows burn firey yellow, as if they would burn me should I touch them.

Last night I thought I heard gunshots, but no sirens followed.

My love affair with my city is deeper and more complex than any love affair I have ever had with a man. Many days I stop and wonder "can this really be my life?" When I walk the streets alone I feel as though I live in a movie, but no movie I have ever known.

To live in a place that delights me each day.

The musicians in the subway.

The light on a park bench, dappled by leaves, shifting as the sun sinks and disappears behind a building beyond.

Sometimes it doesn't seem entirely real, this world in which I live.

How could it be? The magic that I see and feel and absorb each day of my waking life since I chose you? Chose you, city of all cities.

I never knew a home could make me feel the way that you do. I can't explain it. I try, but words fail, to express the joy that each moment gives.

New York, you are my home. My shelter. My place. My person.

Thank you. For all that you are. The good. The bad. The sweltering Summers that make me wish I could melt away. The burning Winters when I feel as though my fingers are really the hands of someone far, far way. The Springs, when life returns and the medians glow with the green and white and yellow of new life. The Falls, when the light glows just so, and everything is more alive in its dying than it ever was in life.

Each day you give me the wonder of a child. I feel safe even when my senses tell me I am not.

I do not know how to express the wonder I feel within your womb.

Here, I am me.

And you are you.

We are we.

And we are all that we are.

Without question.

Without apology.

Without restraint.

We.

Are.

7 comments:

Stephanie said...

LOVE this post. So beautiful.

Sometimes I feel like I'm living a movie as well.

You should try and get this printed in New York Magazine or something - it's really fantastic!

OC said...

Very beautiful. Loved the imagery!

distracted spunk said...

Froggy, I loved this. Beautiful. And it rings true. Thanks for making me miss home more. :P

Princess of the Universe said...

That was lovely. New York does seem magical and movie-like and kind of mythic to those of us who are so far away from it.
I'm glad it's the same for those of you actually there.

Libby said...

oh wow! that was so so well written! loved it.

Princess Pointful said...

Beautiful post. Probably my favourite of yours thus far.
I get that sometimes in my city... a bit of surrealism, as though it is hard to believe this is my life!

Lisa said...

Beautiful. I loved reading this. Now I want to move to New York. Hah.