Hello. I am not writing to you from New York, I am sitting on a couch in rural Pennsylvania, but yesterday morning I woke up to a cacophony of sound outside my East Harlem apartment. My heart is with you even when I am not, as cliché as that sounds.
All my dreams are with you, all my illusions, all my misconceptions and my supreme and sublime sense of freedom.
It all lives down your avenues, atop your skyscrapers and pulsing from lights on your bridges.
I remember explicitly some perfect moments: I am cross faded walking down an East Village street in the snow last year, I’ve just spent the day wearing a Santa Clause hat, drinking beer and smoking weed with new friends. I’m on the way to a party at a gay bar for my basketball league and the snow is in flurries around me, igniting the streetlights pouring down above my head.
I’m hungry, and I spot a taco place. I’d never been there before and if I went there again I probably wouldn’t even know. I order some tacos and sit alone amongst strangers, who are also sitting alone. I pull out my book and start to read in a restaurant full of people who are also reading and eating tacos. The snow is a carnival of light outside the windows, and young drunk people in santa hats are flowing past and down the street. The sense of freedom that surges through me in this moment is almost too much to take.
I feel this same freedom, a tornado in my chest, six months later as I’m again alone, trudging uptown under streetlights on the East Side. I’ve just had dinner with camp friends at Veselka, a Ukrainian restaurant, and I’ve spent the whole evening chatting and laughing with a girl named Liz. One of my friends brought her to dinner and I’m swirled inside serendipity, imagining Liz’s eyes and her sympathetic laugh, like she understood me completely and had known me always. Liz and I will eventually date, and she’ll eventually dump me, but for now I’m unaware of impending catastrophe.
I’m simply fluttering in a current of possibility, counting your shining streets, music surging in my ears. You look so perfect right now, New York.
The lights shining from the windows in your buildings matches the lights shining in my chest, your surging energy sweeps inside me and mirrors a love so intense it's almost painful. The lights from your buildings sparkle on your rivers. This love rocking in my chest is for you. Suddenly it's raining and I’m in line for a bar, waiting to get inside for my friend’s birthday party. You look like you emerged from my memory in this moment, NYC. You look just like all my dreams.