A My Private Coney project Flash non-fiction, brief moments and old memories of a city and mother's emotional and physical real estate disappearing at the speed of heartbreak.
Tuesday, May 27, 2014
The Long March
When he moved to Southern California to keep his sister company as she faded to the end, he walked everywhere. After all, in New York, he walked everywhere. A train or a bus were second choice and a taxi was for emergencies only.
And even though he got a car for those last few years at the job, and again when he moved to California, driving was never very comfortable. He had learned too late and did a lot of steering wheel gripping as he kept to the speed limit while other drivers honked and yelled at him as they flew by.
So here, in sunny Southern California, it was nothing to him to walk 20 miles a day, no snow or ice to keep him from discovering the cul de sacs and sprawling suburbs now his new city. Perhaps it is why at 93 the doctor keeps telling him he's doing "real fine".
His legs walked him into these late years, still living on his own (kinda) and still physically robust (kinda). But those long walks have now faded fast and gone, and the five minute walk to the end of the hall and back took more like 12 minutes and all I could think was shit if he topples over I'm fucked.
MY PRIVATE CONEY presents IT WAS HER NEW YORK, the short stories that accompany the work-in-progress video and photo collection of the same name (myprivateconey.com - media link - IT WAS HER NEW YORK). The stories and the media explore the tender rubble that holds both my mother, Florence's and New York's soul as one disappears into old age and the other into gentrification. All are real observations and/or experiences with very little tall-tale telling.
Except when it makes the story better.
Please visit myprivateconey.com for additional information and sample works.