Friday, September 25, 2015

grasping for har habáyit

I have looked all over the world for the place where I am standing in right now.
For the abuelitas singing their songs with their nasal voices,
for the creaky kneeler in the pew, for the warm wood of the new chapel,
for the roses guarding the monstrance.

Each new adventure brings me back to here.

I was walking through the Village on a Friday night.
It was crowded with lots of neon lights,
pretty young things crowding the sidewalks in front of Ramen stores,
and the thirty-somethings in wine cafés and chic, chintzy bars, with just the right amount of kitsch.
And all the NYU students and young JP Morgan Analysts gathering at water holes with crowded dance floors and taco stands.

I was eating mini-doughnuts from a stand on Mulberry Street, and on my way to Brooklyn (and feeling so superior about it. Williamsburg is just the Village for snobs).
At night time, you can look into the eyes of all the people that you pass.
Somehow that is no longer as invasive.
There's a certain wonder that the shadows of night time and dusty street lights allow.
Everyone looks beautiful.
And, at night,
we are freed from our daily ritual
of pretending we can't see them.

There were crowds of people all around,
so many crowds of crop-tops and trendy wedge mini-boots and lattice-backed sheer blouses and tight jeans and finely trimmed beards and gages in their ears and too much cologne and well-polished shoes and sharp suits and

and, then--

I felt my heart turn into a homing beacon.
It sent out a clear, unmistakable signal--
a little flame--a burst of communication,
a burst of light, a signal flare--for someone else.
For a someone on the other end of the line.

I could almost hear them, through the static of the telephone.
I could almost make out another face, another voice.
But I felt their heartbeat--
I could feel it underneath my skin,
But my heart started to beat in time with this new beat.
Coming from outside of me,
it felt and sounded so far away.
But it was underneath my skin,
beating with my heart--
and intruder in my ribcage.

I felt my heart skip a beat,
then start again in time to this new pace.

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