Of course the boundaries of words are rendered indistinct, inseparable with static and line noise, some engineer's calculated signal-to-noise ratio: 'exx percent plus minus uhh four five percent'. This plus-minus gap is where our communication lies, where sometimes these flareups of frustration occur at an inability to get through, at asking for it again (what, what, what?), words come out through speakers having gone into ears sliding down ravine-like thought like rivulets then coming out of microphones. Tinny and flattened you sound ethereal, almost shapeless to me, lacking substance or reality and to check myself I stomp my feet and swing my arm and feel asphalt, unyielding, and the muscles in my arm flex and turn and wave past these molecules of Manhattan air like some horribly inefficient sail. Stamp and slash and here I am again, walking across these streets, tied to you like these long strands driving up above and circling above stratosphere in a semi-orbiting (orbital?) line following Great Circles dropping down rain-soaked and rainbow-dried down to you and your hand and your ear. Tethered (but not leashed) I walk these streets as if I've got a balloon attached to my wrist, despite the ribbon in a meta-slipknot -- knot creating slipknot creating slipknot -- still sliding up the wrist, my arm swinging, and the color of the balloon always red red red against a blue blue blue sky.
This was today, today, Midtown Uptown Downtown Manhattan with the sense of higher skies and taller buildings and a coolness in the air that made it seem almost like autumn was coming, except no no it wasn't it's mid-July now so maybe it's like an inverse Indian summer. Nevertheless there's the feeling of movement and dynamism and change in the air and everyone's moving, undulating to each step, this sense of joined united separation, unifying fractures. I think I said something about this last year but it seems that summer, summer, SUMMERS are times when overlap occurs, each summer laid on top of each other like some palimpsest, nostalgia for the current moment inevitably piercing through bible-paper-thin divisions and slicing right through into the previous one, last summer, the one before, and then the one one one before that. Years of walking on asphalt during summer all synchronized and condensed into a single point, and so here's me and here's last year and here's the year before that, layered, remembering what it was like to bike down to 124th 134th to lock, get off, come 'home', save space, wander around Central Square, introduce myself to this new city. What it was like to be at Antonio's, listening to earphones all the way home, Swimmers on repeat as I crossed the small triangular patch of grass towards towards a lock that opened with the key in my hand and felt so intensely aware of the length and speed and accuracy and bend and the curves of my legs and the way my ankles moved and the way in which my feet bent inwards/outwards --
And now as I get off the train eyes adjusting to the night here are these breezes these some kids sitting on steps smoking being quiet in the way only a cigarette break can offer universally, forced non-vocal use of the mouth, the necessity to be outside, the quiet social interactions necessary to light one here cup your palms yeah yeah oh one more time yeah cup your palms lean in oh ah, a leaning back with the edge of the stair cold concrete pressing through shirt and to skin in a frigid line that's more cool than anything, someone's slow exhale, and then mute, then fade to black.
Passing by and seeing this them and those other precious imperceptible moments I go home full of this city, this city at night and I call you, but mistakes are done, done my fault done when all I really wanted to say over noise and signal both, over words that don't start nor stop in this city distilled and undiluted and refinedly raw, rawly refined, was that it was as if tonight, this night, that you were here, you were the whole city, and that's that.