Parenting Blog

Four Seasons In Manhattan

WINTER

The enthused clattering of a 5pm standing O had floating its way up into the blue sky bowl, the inverted dome from which the chandelier hung, like the death from a refined lady’s slender cigarette dangling from the tips of her black satin gloved fingers. Still, the able bodied pair flanking row G in the mezz sat motionless. Living dead. Three cheers had been earned and duly given, and thousands of feet began to shuffle for the burgundy carpeted stairs, heading for the exits onto 42nd Street with the purpose of a bike messenger on two strikes for lateness. And yet this languid couple remained oblivious of their role in this most basic of human contracts: it ends, hands clap, knees extend to rise erect, and we move along to whatever it is our digital calendars remind us is next.

FALL

She shouldn’t have been crossing 14th. Not yet. It wasn’t her time. It was no one else’s time. Yellow taxi cabs honked a staccato of guttural beeps. Improvisational jazz from street performers no longer dreaming of getting a shot on any stage. Her face remained resolute, expressionless. She didn’t give a shit. From the corner, he watched this scene unfold upon thick white lines beneath the blinks between reds, yellows and greens. Black lycra ended two inches above her gossamer thin ankles. A white pup on a whiter leash danced between her ankles, jumping above the sparkling ruby red carrying this Dorothy north up 7th Avenue to get back home again.

Scenes from Manhattan

SUMMER

Earbuds and a thick pane of glass brought only silence and the music he couldn’t hear over the percolating conversation inside. It must have been the joke Trevor told with the excitement of a fat boy eying a thickly iced birthday cake on a table in the corner that’s cloaked with a licensed cartoon vinyl slab. The beauties around the half moon table are cooing. Austin had already heard this one, of course he had, but laughed anyway. He was always a cordial boy, and he did not wish to stand out from this crowd. He needs everyone at this table, everyone in this city, to love him. Austin (surely that’s still his name) waits for a refill of the joe he has been sucking down all night, like a trucker who’s been up since before dawn in the flyover states. He picked at his avocado toast and smiled the smile of a innocent bystander who knew, and would begrudgingly admit in a quiet moment, that Trevor had the birds eating out of his hands.

SPRING

His walks here are taken at a gazelle’s pace. The speed is not necessary. His long legs are fueled by an energy derived from this crowded grid, the Pad Thai places he doesn’t step inside, the cornucopia of blurred faces crossing his vision as he crosses short blocks of his list. This white hot intensity begins the moment he emerges from beneath the water, like a toddler greeting his dad at the airport after a too long deployment. All legs and arms and hair blowing in the wind his joy creates. What he longs for most here, although he doesn’t dare force fate’s dainty hand but does actively hope for, which, in and of itself, is probably enough to guarantee it absolutely does not occur, is to be bumped out of his place in life, to be seen with more clarity than the faded sketch of a silhouette. He wants a plot point, the scene from a film when the symphony is instructed to ham it up. He’d settle for a cliche, a chance encounter that tears everything down and rebuilds it anew over bowls of handmade pasta drizzled with truffle oil, with hands in hands, as a candle flickers gently from hungry breathe meeting in the middle, with a meaningful kiss that tingles longer than winter lasts on this concrete island jungle.

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