Wednesday, May 05, 2010

I'll Give You Hardball

I was discouraged yesterday as I headed out to work. News of a bomber's nationality, tales of historical sites flooding, and the hopelessness of oil and water that do not mix were ringing in my ears. I was tired and I had a long day ahead. In my head I composed long, second person essays about fake patriotism and uncontrollable climate change and people who cite Glenn Beck as a reliable source of information while decrying the failures of "mainstream media." I flipped to Toccata & Fugue in D Minor on my iPod because apparently I wasn't interested in turning my mood around.

Halfway across the park, which is halfway to the train, a park worker approached. He looked the couple in front of me right in the eye and called, "Good morning people! Good morning! Welcome to the park!" No matter how it sounds it wasn't creepy at all. It lifted me about half an inch up off the ground. I smiled and I felt better and I went to work and I found out that the bomber was American. My thought essays became more cheerful. And more self-righteous.

At the end of the work day I strode purposefully across Manhattan engrossed in the sounds of Huey Lewis and the challenge of keeping my skirt from riding all the way up over my head. From behind something thumped me gently on the shoulder blade. Incensed, I whipped around to the grinning faces of my people. And lo we found sushi and all was well.

A little boy told stories and held my hand and stole half of his father's cucumber roll while snuggled against his mother's side. A much older boy recalled Arizona's Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Super Bowl debacle in his Mario Puzo-approved attire. The boys waved goodbye and we girls ascended leopard print staircases to our seats and shared and mused and unearthed common ground we hadn't buried as deep as we feared.

Two hours later the lights on stage dimmed, a spotlight focused, the incomparable Barbara Cook began to sing Send in the Clowns and I burst into tears.

I cried because I live where it's possible to be bombed, to be scorned, to share sushi with a small boy, to walk through parks and by landmarks on your way to dinner, to hear someone ask "Why would anyone live there?" and to sit in the dark with 1,000 theatre lovers and quietly weep while basking in the glow of a genius sharing her craft.

My whole day yesterday was but one example of the uncountable reasons I always ask, "Why would I live anywhere else?"


    I love your city. I love your people. I love you.

  2. I love your city, too. I've only been there once, spent 2 fabulously hectic days scratching the surface of it, and loved every single second of it. That was almost exactly 8 years ago and I have harbored a longing to return since the moment the Manhattan skyline slipped out of view.

  3. Miflohny1:15 PM

    A wonderful woman that I knew all to briefly and who died way too young always cheerfully said hello to anyone she passed in the park. It always made me feel happy, and I try to remember to do the same.