I had a childhood defined by small spaces. A young adulthood formed by the speed and freedom of movement, compartmentalized into strips of streets, shaded by tall buildings, breathing into the plazas of office buildings. I socialized under scaffolds and stoops, watching the goons go by in cars and bikes, couples walking, strangers with snips of conversations as they went by. I grew up in small bites and short breaths, always hurrying, because there was always a new adventure around this or that right angle.
And then, weeks before downtown was castrated by two planes, I moved.
Spaces got wider, the ground swelled and dipped, and the ocean was on the other side. The traffic is bullshit in Los Angeles. A cakewalk. The shadows are shorter and downtown is the size of a postage stamp.
I’ve read romance novels where the couple is reunited after a long separation. I always wonder how a flame could be kept alive that long. How two children who loved each other could still have a feeling left over into adulthood. Hadn’t they both changed? What could be left after so much time?
I discovered that today, because my lover, inside the slim asphalt and vertical drops, spaces didn’t actually change so much as evolve. The scent of him, the angles of his body, the curve of his lips, the timbre of his voice….it’s all there. The changes are only on the surface.
New York, you motherfucking asshole of a city, still the dead center of the known universe, I hate you, and I yearn for you, and the honking of cabs twenty stories below, the blasts of fog from beneath the street, the fire escape necklaces draping off the brick buildings, the slits of sky directly above.
I am desperately homesick.
I need a drink.