Wednesday, May 25, 2016

sound is the only color I can see

What they don't tell you about summer in New York is that the summer heat kicks up dust that buzzes around your face like the flies that breed in the lazy summer air.

My eyes are Venus fly-traps, attracting all the flying insects and the flying dirt.

A piece of shrapnel or of sidewalk that the dusty hair has coughed into my face sticks inside my eye, and infects my vision with the smell of weed and Kentucky Friend Chicken.

The brightness of the women's white clothing shining in the sun stuns me and their loud shouts into their phones or into the headphones of their boyfriends blind me.

What they don't tell you about summer in New York is that it's 6am, and the sun has been going long before you do. At 5pm, it's still shining, and your day is only just begun. In the summer, the sun is the New Yorker that we all wish we were.

And in the evenings--oh the evenings--the sunset hits the West Side skyline crimson and askew.

In the afternoons, the mellow afternoons, buzzing with limpid air and heat, the stained glass air of churches is filled with the sweet smells of talcum and incense.

What they don't tell you about summer in New York is that it awakes all the melancholia inside of you. Your sanguine blood runs slower, and the sehnsucht and the appetites you had bottled up and stored away with sandals comes rolling out of your winter coat closets, willy-nilly.

New York in the summer does something to your brain: the joyful putrescence of the littered sidewalks, and the comfort of the close city air warming your bare shoulders.

The park is filled with people running, families playing, and tourists chattering and getting in the way with all their pictures.

The streets are filled with people who you are tempted to brush by, but you stop, mutter: really? okay, fine, turn around, reach out to touch them: can I get you anything? you ask. They shake their heads and smile. If 8 million people did that, regularly, imagine how much sweeter the sour city would be.

And yet how often I walk by another person without another word, because I am not my sister's keeper. He is no concern of mine.

What they don't tell you about summer in the city is that the same humidity that makes your clothes stick to your sweaty skin sticks the inhabitants of the city closer together, too. Our lives clumsily collide with one another, in a graceless, sloppy fashion, which can, on occasion, radiate grace.

The languid days are filled with the colors of children playing in the parks and the alarm clock of the songbird on the tree outside my air conditioner unit. The humming nights are filled with whispers of leaves and the quiet of the wind whistling past night taxis and the resilient, persistent life that still crawls along the pavements.

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