Thursday, February 20, 2014

Desperately Seeking Her New York - An Encore

Originally posted August 6, 2009, this moment began haunting me yesterday.

Where was Her New York, a city that once grew art and families, and now grew only glass luxury? Was this place becoming as obsolete as real books and a paper newspaper? Or, in crack and corners, was there a defiance still thriving, a refusal to disappear? 

I'm willing to let things die.  I am just not willing to allow murder.  

Her New York still lives here.

For a second I thought parts of Florence had come back to life. Same sneakers, cheekbones and that skinny body bursting with life, but in jeans and a bandana.

She was staring at all the reading glasses. Only the pharmacist saw me hiding behind a corner and quietly snapping pictures. He didn't to say anything, even though he had that uncomfortable look of "that's not allowed here I wish I were a manager and could say so." It's possible he thought we were related, both of us dressed like one another and different from everyone else in the store.

Finally, she stomped just like Florence over to the counter and told him she needed glasses but couldn't figure out which one was which and how did she know which one was which and which one would be the one she could read with and although he was swamped and the only one at the counter he came out and tried to explain to her which was which and what was what.

"I can't read my newspaper!" she exclaimed, as he pointed here and there. You just knew it was the New York Times she was talking about.

Perhaps it was all the times strangers stopped for Florence or perhaps it was all the times I wish I had, but I found myself standing at the rack handing her different strengths and styles and explaining and commenting, and sure enough she picked the pair with the least bells and whistles and the one most fitting for someone with a soul like a razor and a face that defied the contradiction of age and beauty.


Related Posts:

Anything on Jeremiah's Vanishing New York a.k.a. The Book of Lamentations: a bitterly nostalgic look at a city in the process of going extinct