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My city

It is heading for midnight here. All you over the ocean people are snug in your beds-- but I just finished emptying the dog. Son usually takes her in the small hours-- he is up much later than me. But we are expecting more snow, starting soon, so I took her, and early. We may get another foot tonight and tomorrow. And there is to be an ugly wind. It is already cold enough outside to make your teeth sting.

There is perhaps six or 8 inches on the ground at the park. It has evaporated some since it fell, and it has been pretty well stepped on. Closer to a foot, I would say, where it butts against the street, or the plowed walkways. It has a crust, it has melted and frozen again several times at least. And it has crusted into ankle twisting, icy lumps.  I know the way that it will melt, first where the sun can get, last under the trees, or where it has been compacted. There will be days of mud and the sound of trickling water. Then rain and earthworms. That will come, but not yet. Now it is still winter.

Hazel can go off the leash, in the park at night. So we did that. She likes to put her nose right on the ground, and her tail up, and follow the smells of-- well, I guess I don't know what of. Maybe rats underground, places where squirrels have gone, discarded chicken certainly, although she found none tonight. She did find a pizza box, but it was empty. And of course, anywhere dogs have been, And all the walls used by drunk men. Hazel is a urine expert. She is a dog, after all.

She and I are both middle-aged now, kind of stout and arthritisy, but we climbed the hill, until I could turn around and look out over Brooklyn, and the water,  and see Manhattan, and New Jersey in the distance. I think I enjoy the view in the same way she enjoys an interesting scent. Both tell stories, I am sure. Tonight the sky is overcast, but you can still see a long way. The lady is there, with her torch, (She actually belongs to New Jersey, not New York.) And I can see from the hill, the empire state building, and the chrysler too. I suppose, once, that the twin towers would have dominated the view. They were taller than everything else. I have a little trouble imagining it though-- I did not live here then.

And I think about how every light I can see-- hundreds of them-- is a person, or many people. And each person is a story, or many stories. I can remember telling my kids when they were small, that each person you see is full of stories. Each person knows things you will never ever know. So I thought about that. The least interesting person in the city, (whoever they are,) has had experiences I will never get to have. It is easy to be moved to tears by this, on a dark quiet hillside. But the awe is less when I have to wait behind them at the bank!

Hazel was invigorated by the cold. She zoomed back down the hill like a puppy, with her tail totally limp.  I zoomed a little too, there was nobody to see me being silly, after all.

Now we are back, and I really ought to go to sleep. Sleep well, all of you. You are full of stories.


( 13 comments — Leave a comment )
Feb. 13th, 2014 06:23 am (UTC)
Feb. 13th, 2014 07:00 am (UTC)
Lovley Post
Feb. 13th, 2014 10:08 am (UTC)
True - you are silly :) But you are full of stories too! *smooches*

Had to snigger about the phrase 'emptying the dog' :) That sounds like a kind of a trash bin.

PS: You can write!
Feb. 13th, 2014 11:21 am (UTC)
I enjoyed reading this - very evocative! We are surrounded by water at the moment, but at least we have no snow so far!
Feb. 13th, 2014 12:23 pm (UTC)
Aw. Lovely story. I can just picture you, admiring the view.
Feb. 13th, 2014 01:51 pm (UTC)
you paint such a wonderful picture of Brooklyn on a winter night.
Feb. 13th, 2014 01:55 pm (UTC)
Beautiful writing. Thank you for posting this.
Feb. 13th, 2014 02:36 pm (UTC)
Lovely post and I loved your sharing your musings. I, too, have often thought about the vast number of people and stories I'll never know, especially when I see a stadium of a several hundred people, say watching a ball game, and think; "Each one of those people has a mother and father, maybe brothers and sisters, perhaps children or even grandchildren, a huge number of connections."
Feb. 13th, 2014 03:42 pm (UTC)
Lovely post.

I'm sitting here safely at home, knowing I should go out and shovel the foot of snow off my deck, but thinking it looks too pretty as it is (plus, I'm lazy).
Feb. 14th, 2014 12:25 am (UTC)
You are full of stories

And you are full of words that weave themselves into pictures and sounds and smells. I can hear the sound of the ice under your feet, feel the pinch of the cold in my nose as you climb the hill and see Hazel's dark shape as she zooms ahead, back down the hill, with you zooming in her wake. Now it's time to sleep again. Perhaps I'll dream about the view I have never seen from a hill I have never climbed. I can picture it already.
Feb. 14th, 2014 09:39 am (UTC)
Thanks for sharing!
Feb. 14th, 2014 10:54 am (UTC)
A wonderful post... Thank you! Such a very different nightscape to the one I usually inhabit.
Feb. 15th, 2014 09:43 am (UTC)
You've got such an amazing talent for conjuring up atmospheric images with only a few words. This is beautiful.
( 13 comments — Leave a comment )



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