"There's not much doubt in any of our minds that no complete idea springs fully formed from our brow,
needing only a handshake and a signature on the contract to send it off into the world to make twenty-five billion dollars.
The germ of the idea grows slowly..." - Walt Kelly

Thursday, July 5, 2012

There's a girl in New York City

By the time I crossed Greenwich Street my embarrassment had burned away in the evening heat. Now, whatever was left just made me feel silly, perhaps even a bit juvenile, and I laughed aloud as I waited at the next crosswalk, the traffic careening by me in some sort of accidental rhythm.

At the edge of the river I picked the nearest empty bench and sat down in the middle. The Hudson rocked up against the concrete siding of the city, sharp claps of the water echoing in the darkness. The night had not yet brought a drop in temperature, so I sat there sweating through my work clothes and imagining how absurd I must have sounded. All that time spent calculating and trying to predict outcomes. Of course she was going to say no at the end. This sort of thing never worked out, right? So why would it be any different for me just because I tried harder?

I looked up across the river and saw movement in the corner of my eye. I turned my head and saw her walking slowly along the sidewalk, glancing back and forth from me to the water. She reached my bench and I slid off to the side so she could sit down next to me. She faced the river and stayed silent. I imagined she was trying to find the words to say, although I had never been fluent in body language. Finally she turned and looked at me.

"You know this is impossible, right?"

I laughed through my nose and shrugged.

"I guess so," I said. I leaned back into the bench and crossed my arms. "But maybe that's why it seems like such a good idea."

She gave me a look that half-conveyed interest, or perhaps pity, and then turned to the constellation of lights flickering and forming in the buildings across the water. She leaned back against the bench and rested her hands in her lap, and the two of us sat there waiting for anyone other than each other to break the silence.

Playing on my iTunes at this very moment:
Tom Waits, Come On Up To The House