Tuesday, May 1, 2007

In New York City, every building is a library...

...and every window is a novel.

I've looked out from my own half-written pages onto the fire escape cold and wet with rain, into the shadow of a lampshade, over to a refrigerator littered with magnets holding up crayoned papers and to-go menus, into laced curtains hiding lovers holding each other warm against the chill outside, and I watched the rain come down, lightning illuminating all then leaving it dim and shiny on the edges of each small window, and I wanted to crawl in each window, know the stories each of them held behind them.

This is how I felt the first time I read a book, looked in the mirror, had sex, got my ass beat - when I realized (or was it remembered?) how big the world is, how welcoming and indifferent it could be, and how I wanted it all to open up to me, take me in, bruise me, leave me gasping and wanting more.

Downstairs, my girlfriend's 60-something neighbor is waiting to hear our dog bark as her grandson sleeps; she likes hearing it, says it reminds her there's someone up here. The grandson says hello to our dog when he sees it, then cries about his mother's boyfriend who hates him and makes him stay with his grandma. His grandma says he's cuckoo because he talks to the school psychologist, and points to hear own head. All this Mary, the grandmother, tells us in parts as she pets our dog on the stoop, but she won't talk about why the cops were there last night after her daughter's visit.

It's raining and my girlfriend is asleep. But I can't crawl in bed yet, because I know I won't be able to sleep. And I hate that. I hate to lie in bed alone, even when she's there, and remember that every good story I've ever read has had an end, and the best endings are usually the saddest.