My toes are touching the edge of the curb and to jump off would to be to leap down into something of which I cannot see the bottom. I know it looks limitless here, on the street, even though really I’m simply perceiving the reflection of water on the tarmac. Dark matter, perhaps, without beginning, end or anything in between, but it has a greater possibility than the icywhite cube in which I sit for the rest of the day, fingers hitting numbers, letters, typing volumes without saying anything at all.
If there is no limit to anything, then what I’m doing somehow, somewhere works out. In that other world, that ordinary street surface, I don’t choose life, instead life chooses me and instead of taking one huge jump through the quicksilver mirror, I step delicately. Because there is no other way to place my feet when they are cast in shiny, high heeled shoes, and my knees cannot bend in this iteration of self because they are wrapped tightly in that skirt from JCrew that has a matching blazer. Somewhere, I’m wearing gold, but you can’t tell as it is also hidden under a silk blouse, the cost of which will make me blush.
I never bought those shoes. They weren’t my size and yoga has warped my feet into something that shouldn’t be wearing shoes at all, but anyone who lives in New York City knows that people shit and piss on the street and if you haven’t caught that disease yet, you will, walking here, barefoot.
As the sleet falls more sharply and tourists inconsequentially and inconsiderately fan out across the streets, their approaching armies of umbrellas, foreign accents and limitless credit cards are the new soldiers against which I need to defend. But defend what, is the question. There are too many rules here, restrictions, and it’s home, but it’s not anymore. I wonder if it ever was home, or, like so many others I drifted here out of necessity and lack. Unlike the others, I was fortunate. I had something. I still have it.
I’m watching any and all reflections on the tarmac, the occasional sparkling red light which to me does not mean stop but “go, do it, try it out.” I always liked the color red, but never wore it, and seeing that ruby heartbeat as a beacon directing me into the beyond I look, and leap and keep looking, without predicting. It’s ok not to know whether there are rocks at the bottom, or a warmer pool of liquid mercury, illuminated by the twinkling stars of promise and the understanding that the center of the universe is everywhere all the time.
“I didn’t need these things. I didn’t need them.”