I’ve never sought to make a living from writing all that is in my heart, only willing to share it with anyone of a mind to read. Thoughts concocted of soft shapes, pebbles on the shore, or the long strands of light reaching into the shadows, set there by a man struggling to be alive.
Remember, though, it is not my fault, I am just the image of the writer. I can neither control or request a subject; ideas pass by on the wind. I merely reach out, grabbing the nearest that doesn’t complicate my life. When I do become weak, drained of energy, afraid, that’s when the stories will sometimes make me tearful. Pretty soon the moisture runs down my cheeks and I know I did not request this feeling, if only I knew what it was. Nor have I requested this joy of being with you, it comes and it stays with me until you are gone. It is not the same feeling I get when I have ice-cream, or eat my favourite Eskimo pie, though these things, too, bring joy.
Tears come, then, when a terrible feeling of not belonging descends and there is no hope for me; no way to recognize and acknowledge it.
New York holds no comfort, no reason to dream. I woke up next to Laguardia with the feeling I wanted to get out of bed and run to you, but where? Manhattan, Brooklyn, maybe, but I chose to stay in my hotel room overlooking the airport. I dragged the desk to the window and wrote a story, one that was passing over Grand Central Parkway, and as I reached out I heard you say: I wouldn’t do that, Harry.
I did an unusual thing, I paid attention to that voice, and headed out — having several hours with which to amuse myself; but also with enough time to fall in love, or out, go to a café, a museum, ride a New York rickshaw, leap a yellow cab or two, and find a hotdog on one corner or another.
Here’s the thing, you can’t let loose a romantic soul into concrete yard, unless he’s to be met, followed, or imagined. What brings me to a city where only scraps of sky are seen between buildings? What stays me in such a place?
It’s true, I could be in love here, in the city, beside this most Central of Parks. My love rented out till the fall returns, but no longer.
A fat man flattens his arse on a bench watching girls, students for sure. He keeps staring at girls under trees, the whiteness of their skin even on a this cool day leaving their shoulders bare. The fat man is not much different to me; both voyeurs. I stare at the girls, imagining those in my past, remembering a different kind of love, their shoulders, backs, hips, listening to their whispers, laughing, mocking, telling of my strangeness, but each, in turn, sunny day or dull, would bite my lip, my hands having found their young breasts. It felt like love.
Is it the same for New York girls, is that why she will come to me, to bite lips and bare her breasts close to Brooklyn Bridge? Are you bourgeoisie?
I would want you to come. You know that, right?
Do you suppose my writings could find a place here the way they did in Paris, in a time before Leonard? Back then I adored the goddesses of Liberty and Muse. Today, Neptune and Aquarius.
Here’s the trouble with Yonkers: it doesn’t have cliffs. It does have those who get their kicks cutting people, and just about every other kind of trash. Corners, too, where smiling can easily get you killed.
Let’s not meet here.
Where then, where will I bend and break you, flood your secret, empty you of lasting moans? I’ll take all you have to give me, here in a hotel room above Wall Street, under the spell of Zeus. Or shall we come together under the tower, once a sky of fire, and weep together over names we never knew, but pray in the macabre where once the fog of human debris drifted down.
Queens, then. By partnership. I’m not only lost, I’m fearful for the lack of romance, the smell of the non-existent valleys. I am unknown in Queens, unknown everywhere, content to hide myself in Coney Island, high on the Ferris wheel of life. But listen, I’d come to Brooklyn just to be worthy of your affection, show the gratitude I have for you. I would do something for you, alas, be it on another day. I would. And soon.
My hours of freedom done, the dogs of war call the tune. I’ll be saddened soon enough in empty halls, with empty stalls, on a stage of frightening panic. I’m not of these people. I don’t belong…I don’t belong.
I will swallow down my dreams at the Empire State Building…
…hello, is that you? Yes? Then understand this: New York is more romantic than Paris, London, and Stockholm together…but wait, it is a foolish dream.
Reality is empty halls, empty stalls, and a stage holding a frightening panic.