Evening Walk

Sam's on the other line. He’s some 3500 miles away and I can hear the excitement of New York City buzzing in his voice. He married his first couple ever (he’s an ordained minister), his wife’s sister, in Central Park the other day.

All the people, people from all over the world! Times Square, man, you should have seen Times Square!! And then there was the hummus place on Amsterdam and 77th, the one with the Jewish guys working behind the counter. The hummus was amazing. We sat next to four girls who were all speaking in Hebrew!

Sam knows this because he asked them.

While he’s telling me all this I can’t help but think, “He sounds fifteen years younger.”

I tell him I wish I could be there.

But I'm not. I’m in my own city heading down the hill toward the library and I have to be going Sam, because the library closes at 8 and it’s nearly approaching that hour. Sure, I would love to talk with Jenn for a minute, but only for a minute then I have to be going.

Inside I collect a few films, electronically check out the items and quietly leave the building. It’s glowing a deep golden color outside. The air is suffused with eight ‘o clock sunlight. I'm in heaven.

I float back up the hill, passing a ridiculous stretch Hummer (only in America) and streets lined with modest, human sized houses. Some lawns are extremely well kept, others are not. Some have gardens, some don’t. I pass the elementary school, then its park where a woman plays catch with a man, the soft thud of worn leather cushioning the catch.

Crossing 42nd street I can see the neon lights of the Buckaroo Tavern advertising local beers the next block over. The sound of laughter winds down the block. Cigarettes are being smoked and pint glasses drained.

I'm almost home now. I walk past the Northfield Block and step aside for two women carrying what looks to be some sort of headdress made of feathers. They have just finished Samba dancing at the brick community center I take care of. A great parade is planned celebrating the summer solstice and these two women will be dancing in that procession.

Just for this one sun drenched summer evening Sam can keep his miles of endless subway tunnels, his bright lights and flashing signs. His hundreds of languages and millions of people.

He can keep his city that never sleeps while I sleep soundly in a city that has yet to wake up.


Blogger wilsonian said...

How beautiful.
You sound well tucked-in.

3:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree, beautiful. Speaking of the local community, there is an article in the Times about a woman in Ballard who refused to sell her house to developers. Maybe you've already read it?


We need more people like her.

7:35 AM  

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