We live in a city of smokestacks and umbrellaheads. A city split in two and turned upside down. A city dazed and unsteady on sixteen million feet, six feet under and darker than that. We live in a city that slept for the first time in nearly a century.
A city of people confused and bemused and infused with "what can I what shall I what must I do now?" It's a city that's hurting and breathing and fishing and wishing and laughing and living and waiting to wake up.
We live in a state of huddling and listening. Watching as the resilient basketball hoop in the driveway snaps in two as the trees behind dance in an insane tango, a physically improbable tango. We live in a state of blank traffic lights and trees flung like toys, leaves upside down and begging to be relieved of the shame of having fallen. We live in a state of emergency.
A state of people who exasperate and exaggerate and desperate to reach their families with no phone no internet no communication no no no. It's a state with the grids off and roofs miraculously on and schools off and work still on and waiting, waiting - are you okay? Can I help?
We live in a region of strength. A region with the best and the brightest, the brave and the confident, the resilient and chin and chest jutted out as in "pfft, bring it on." We live in a region with the arrogant, the crazy, the stupid, the young (and the yolo).
A region of people who knew but didn't know, who reacted but didn't react, who were surprised but expectant. It's a region of people that we call family, a region we, the people, call home.
"What are you thinking about? You look so disgusted right now."
"I don't know. It's just...we live in a city of smokestacks and umbrellaheads."
"What does that mean? Who talks like that?"
"I do. And I mean everyone is just so anonymous here. People are cigarettes blowing in your face or umbrellas tilted so far down you just see a body and no head."
"I don't think that's really true."
"Well, not always, but -- ugh! See! That's what I mean! You can't walk two feet without getting smoke in your lungs! By the time I'm done with this city, I'm going to have lung cancer."
"I thought you said you love it here."
"...I do. The world is just in a weird place right now and I'm there with it. The city that never sleeps was blacked out last night. The Upper West Side became normal and alive and trendy over the course of twenty four hours. Midtown, Downtown, SoHo, Battery City are all under water right now. How is that possible?!"
"I really don't know. But I'm late to class."