The first time I left New York
The Architecture chased me....
Screamed in stone:
Going through the day
Minding my own business
and people feel the need to intrude.
Smoking outside my building
Just want silence
One of the local talkies comes over
Going on and on
Sciatica pain he says
On and on
and on and on
“Probably emotional” I tell him
He did not like that
Most people don’t
When you suggest there is something
more going on
Than they are willing to face.
But I have decided
If they want to intrude
on my solitude
I don’t have to chew it.
I saw a seagull today with a broken wing.
He was walking down Bleecker Street.
I never saw a bird move so fast on his feet.
He was really haulin’ ***.
I smiled to myself.
And I swear he looked right at me and smiled back.
It made me realize
Sometimes, you just have to make the best
out of what you’ve got.
I went by your old place on West 26th Street
Your name was no longer on the buzzer. I pushed it anyway.
When an Asian woman answered I knew you were gone.
Nobody coming out of the building seemed to remember you
Just goes to show.
I went by the old diner at which we used to eat
Same handwritten signs, same menus
Same old tables.
But no you.
I found it strange that the waitress remembered me but couldn't remember
The guy who'd been going there for decades.
Maybe I should have brought a photo
To spark her memory
Maybe I should have reached out to you,
Bitten the bullet and swallowed my pride
Because now the fight seems trivial
Its the rest of the stuff that seems important,
All the good stuff we shared.
People used to sew patches on old jeans and put new soles
on favorite shoes.
Modern life has changed. We throw things out and buy new.
But some things are irreplaceable.
They are worth the effort a repair would require.
Walking with you on West End Avenue.
Laughing and Laughing.
We used to go into the drug stores and try different eye creams Attempting to conceal the fatigue that comes from staying up
for days on end.
Man, did we party.
And I remember.
The different creatures we would run into
along the way.
Creatures of the night.
Mostly emotionally disturbed characters.
Running from life or running from themselves.
Some real crazies.
You remained my good friend.
A reliable person. Something rare in life.
We would talk about the mistakes we made
and the good choices as well.
Careful never to beat ourselves up too badly.
Because sometimes, it’s hard to make the right choices.
And it’s better to laugh when you mess up.
It’s better to laugh if you can.