Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Past the Ides, just.

I walk on the sunny side of the street. It is bitterly cold. Unseasonably, irresistibly, bitterly cold for this late March day. The heat from the curry udon warms my insides, even as the table at which I ate it, positioned as it was near the door, necessitated I wear my heavy coat through the meal. Yesterday we fought a little, my wife and I, about money and future. The sorts of things wives and husbands quarrel about. She says why don't we just get rid of the car when the insurance is due? This is an instant affront. It hurts my senses and I can't rightly explain why. We do not have any more money problems than anyone else. Everyone is bad with money. Or good, depending on how you look at it. We just happen to live in New York, where the cost of doing certain simple things drains your bank account as quickly as taking an international flight every week might. And it is like an international flight. That's why we're here, really. You go to the museums once a year, perhaps. Every couple years maybe you go to a play or the theater. This is after a decade or more of city living and the magic has surrendered to the mundane: job, career, family, financial. But there is the neighborhood. The Slavs and the French, and the Africans and the Chileans, the Asians and Swedes, the Egyptians and the Central Americans. These are the real reasons for New York. For the decision of New York. Our kids play together. We all eat together. We kiss cheeks. But the car, the car I know now is my liberty. My hope for liberty. It means that to me. Like most Americans I guess, for me the car is king. My wife wonders that we should remodel the flat, make an outdoor space. I wonder how I'll scope out that gem of a shack near the Atlantic I'll eventually run off to on the weekends. My wife wonders that it's not in my mind to buy something in town. My heart skips and my chest tightens because I don't know what I'd do if I had to pay a mortgage anywhere so far from a break. We glare at each other. The apartment goes silent for a while. That was yesterday, today is different. I hear her talking to her friend about properties by the sea and this town versus that one. I breathe a little deeper, knowing that New York is all about the day to day.


Auntie Bliss said...

I love what you said about all the people groups. Awesome.

mike said...

NYC sucks but I love it. I fight with my lady daily about her wanting to move back to Cali. No dice I say, I like the kids to see people of all kinds living & loving together. I guess we'll end up points west eventually, but for now home is here (and out east on the weekends).

You guys have gotta come check us out in mastic.