If a place can be said to have
complexion, New York City has a color all its own. There's a
complexity to New York that perhaps only natives can understand. The
city is full of nuances, unspoken rules and contradiction.
On our last trip before leaving the
East Coast, we emerged from Penn Station and headed towards Times
Square. Elmo was there. Cookie Monster, too. Mario...Mickey
Mouse...even the Statue of Liberty greeted us, posing for a picture
before requesting a tip.
On Fifth Avenue, a man leaned against
the side of a building, a cardboard placard in his hands. There was a
supporting length of twine knotted at either end of his sign, giving
his arms occasional respite: Why lie? Need money for weed.
We passed a man wearing a bikini; a man
digging through the trash; another man with green hair and a bird
perched upon his head, pushing a stroller piled with blankets
smothering a poodle. Before I could fix his picture in my mind, he
disappeared into the throng of people.
Because New York is fast, too.
Before I can wrap my head around a moment, the moment disappears.
In Central Park, a man played an erhu.
As my daughter paused to take a picture, he looked at her and smiled.
He saw her. She saw him. For a split-second, they connected.
And I realized what I've been missing in our ten years on the East
Coast. I miss my connections; I miss the context of my life; I miss
being seen and understood without having to detail my backstory.
I miss family holidays and
get-togethers with friends. I miss listening to the Indians on the
radio. I miss the shared understanding of I480, the Cleveland Browns,
and the West Side Market. I miss walking on my parents' farm,
studying the details etched upon the bark of a tree; examining the
soul of a handful of soil teeming with minerals and insects and a
simple, beautiful complexity all its own.
Kelly Garriott Waite on Google+
Labels: Trifecta Writing Challenge