In a search for that second room and the need to have some company while dredging up unwilling stories, Kosky and I found a cafe off the beaten path but with a full view of the passing world.
The morning deliveries to the bodega next door, the pizza guys coming in for good coffee, travelers dragging their suitcases, the regulars wanting a better-priced smoothie than the silly expensive place up the block...
Day in, day out sometimes interrupted with an occasional glimpse of a star ducking into the corner to make a call or a heroin addict nodding out as he dragged his shopping cart to his next stop.
Time passed uneventfully and storytelling got done.
But today was different.
A journalist from Tunisia with a camera guy lugging a big professional Sony suddenly appeared, ushering in a small woman with a soft face. The owner and the manager and the cook all waved them in, embracing, welcoming, bringing coffee, offering salutations of care and love and....
"He is a big journalist from Tunis," the owner told us.
Hello, hello welcome to New York, we said.
"He is here because she is going to see her daughter for the first time in many years. That is why she is crying."
The woman held up five fingers.
"Do you want to say anything?" the camera guy zoomed in.
What could be said of that kind of love? What well wishes could possibly honor the millions of minutes she had waited to see her child, always her child, no matter how old that child might be?
We wished her all the love we saw in her face to fill her reunion.
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.