25 March 2014

i keep trying

yes. i am woefully behind on posting about new york and for that i apologize. there are so many many words still finding their way onto my journal pages that it seems strange to begin to post them here. however! here is a snippet from one of the other women who traveled with me. our goal is to put writing here from each of us. a particular pet project of ours is writing a six-word-story for each day and then combining all four of our work together to create a single piece, showing the days from different angles. 

I keep trying to remember the city, but when I look back I see the world through a peephole--a telescope view of faces, open windows, single lines of scrawled graffiti on the top of six story brick buildings.

I know we took the Staten Island Ferry, but what I remember is not the boat or the Statue of Liberty, though photographic evidence would indicate they were there. But I see the Ukrainian woman's pockmarked face, standing in the sun in her fur-trimmed jacket, talking to writers about writing, travelers about traveling, and friends about friendship with her Russian consonants and broad vowels. I see the little French boy strutting and posing for his proud, picture-taking papa. I see the five young men with unidentifiable accents, arms around each other, one hip forward to slim the waist, as another tourist takes their picture--"with the statue in the background, yes?"

We took the el-train to Queens multiple times (one of them intentional), but all I see are rows of windows flying past--whole lives summed up by broken pipes, Folgers coffee, and open bags of sugar. Above it all, "Summertime love Mischief 2014" and "hi mom" smile out over a million bricks covered by ill-formed, illegible letters and less profanity than you'd expect. 

In Manhattan the buildings were taller and shinier. I know because of the faces and faces and faces reflected in the windows and mirrored paneling--his vest and her sightless but wide open eyes and his cigar-smile and her protective clutching of her baby's stroller. But mostly, mostly, his broad face, chin slightly lifted, standing alone in the middle of the crowded Mexican chain restaurant, a single tear coursing over his dark cheekbone, detouring around the mole on his cheek, and disappearing over the edge of his jaw.

He is NYC to me. 

Alone in the city of millions, he cried.


No comments :

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...