During a visit to Sunnyside, Queens, we came back into my friend's building after errands. There behind the stairwell was an open door to an old fashion apartment, maybe the kind you would see if Scorsese made family movies.
"Super's apartment?" I asked.
And that made me wonder and yearn for those times when, on hot summer days, doors were left open.
Originally posted August 17, 2010
It started as an unconscious homage to Florence.
During the hot days, she, like many of our neighbors, would prop open her front door and let whatever breeze existed waft in from the stairwell's window.
With so many opened doors our different lives would also drift up and down the stairs, the sounds and smells and conversations, the T.V. going, all weaving in and out making a village out of thirty-five apartments.
One night, decades later in a much smaller apartment building, I opened the door during a non-stop heat wave, and a breeze blew in and as it came in, the cat ran out, the cool of 100 year old marble floors and walls too much to resist.
And soon that door, like Florence's, stayed open as the cat and I, wandering the stairs in the middle of the night, listened to our neighbors sleep, hummed along with all the air conditioners in the air shaft and sat in the still and the silence.
I miss the normalcy of open doors during hot days and sleepless nights, and when my door is closed because the neighbors are awake, I miss my mother.
Wherever You Go, There You Are. Sometimes in Queens
In the Still of the Night, the Sound of Silence
Walkin' After Midnight
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