I like the air here. It is sweet with boutique botanicals. Someday, I want to live above the shop with the Star Wars memorabilia. I’ll be on the third floor. There is no view except for the third floor across, but I am sure there are beautiful people on the other side of the street. I can’t afford it right now. Things can change.
Some places feel like home. The scattered leaves on concrete could be my front yard. The record store on the corner would be my favorite shop. The guy behind the counter is cooler than I will ever be. We will talk about rare boots and Japanese exports all day. He’d know me by name and buy me a beer. I’d refuse and pick up the tab. That’s how it would be.
It is not that the sun is brighter in Manhattan or that God loves you any more here. It’s just different. Are people nicer here? Maybe I’m just more open to their good graces. The girl at the deli smiles at me like we have a history. I wish we did.
The streets grow darker than the sky. If there was an empty bench on Thompson street I would sleep all night beneath the city’s glow. Instead I’m looking for railings on the sidewalk. I have a passage to make.
You and I don’t know each other. I assume we have the same dreams. Twenty seven dollars a week lets us go where we want, but we’d rather stay where we are. Instead we are crammed in a tube, some of us standing, all of us leaning towards our destination. One guy sings and another dances. It’s not for us, it’s for their own amusement, and no one cares or pays attention. The whoosh of air steals my breath. The lights pass like a strobe. This is my club.
The platform at Prospect Park is quiet except for the chattering of teenagers making out in the shadows. I walk past the murals and decals and graffiti to my street. In Little Haiti the Haitians speak French. I don’t know what they mean.
The bodega on the corner is adjacent to another bodega on the corner and they both carry the same goods. One is owned by Fermin, the other is And Sons. I am thirsty and want a drink. I lament, do all the drinks in SoHo have papaya too?