Wednesday, April 17, 2013

writings in the sky

There aren't too many cuties riding the subway at 6:30 in the morning when I head into work, but I have seen this one guy on the subway a couple times now during my morning commute. He lives out past me because he is always on the train by the time I get on at DeKalb. That's a plus in his column already - that he lives far out in Bushwick near me. Even without that though, his column is checkmark after checkmark, a scribbled column with frantic checks all over the place, and an empty column next to it of his perceived minuses.

He was seated. He was wearing rust colored jeans with brown Clarks. I recently mentioned how seeing a little bit of ankle, that bit of skin that sometimes shows between the bottom of a pair of pants and the top of a pair of shoes, is one of my biggest turn-ons. Because this guy was seated, his pants were riding up his leg a bit and there was that little bit of heaven above his Clarks, a tiny strip of pale flesh, a teaser, a tiny audio sample when you really want to hear the whole song. I untied his shoes and removed them and no one said anything as I played out this fantasy in my head, seemed normal enough for the morning commute my mind imagined. As I played through these scenes, I actually sat a little down the train from him, peering around other passengers boarding at each stop, making my view more and more obstructed as we got closer to the city. He has beautiful hair and large nostrils. He was wearing purple headphones. He got off at Union Square, where I transfer trains, and so I followed him for a bit up to the platform where I catch the N or R. I somehow lost him in the rush of commuters. I wanted to see where he was headed to, what stop he got off at, imagine what his life was like and where he might be heading into work so early. I started recalling the details about him, committing them to memory, imagining I would write a Missed Connection about him. I have not. The day was busier than I expected.

On the subway ride home today, there was a man standing next to me reading a guidebook called The Moon. I wanted to lie on a blanket with him and have him tell me about the moon, about the stars, about the universe. He got off at the Jefferson stop, one stop before me. I watched him exit. He was wearing flared jeans. The crush was over. I would not learn about the moon, the stars, the universe - at least, not from him.

I walked down Knickerbocker Avenue this evening to the grocery store. Dusk was settling over the streets. There were children everywhere at the park, everyone enjoying this weather. I bought some mixed greens, some mushrooms, some tea. I walked back home and watched an overly aggressive cop tackle a bicyclist who had run a red light. It was an ugly and unnecessary scene. I kept on walking, Sonic Youth playing on my headphones, the sky incredibly beautiful, the magic hour making me both happy and sad about this life, overcome with emotion. Closer to my house, I watched a flock of pigeons make circles in the sky, swerve that way and then this.

I have been in New York just shy of ten years now. My ten year anniversary is coming up on April 24th. I associate these circling pigeons with New York. The apartment that I lived in during my first four years in New York faced the rooftop of a pigeon man. He would be on his roof every evening with his pigeons and they would circle the sky, hundreds of these birds going around and around. These things always happen at dusk, these pagan pigeons doing their ritual dances to the setting sun, praising its glory. I always knew where my apartment was, blocks and blocks away. I could spot this formation of moving dots in the sky and know that that was the guy who lived behind my building underneath all of those birds. Brooklyn has a lot of these circling flocks and I am always wowed by them, stopped in whatever I am doing to look at these creatures. It's such a beautiful sight and one that I still don't understand, how their movements are so coordinated. I don't need to understand everything, anything. I don't need to know much about the moon or about circling pigeons against a setting sun. I see these things and recognize their beauty. All of the other stuff, the facts you would tell me if were were to lie on a blanket together and you knew facts about such things, is entirely secondary.

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