I told this story to coworkers who thought it was more tragic that I wore uncomfortable shoes than the fact that I was lost for over an hour in Central Park. I can see their point.
Happy to promptly leave work at 4 p.m.
despite my wearing imitation patent leather shoes with flimsy soles and hard plastic coverings
I decide to stroll through the park until I reach 8th Avenue where I can grab a train home
I enjoy entering the park
watching the buildings fade
eaten by the trees of changing leaves
women standing, watching children scamper, chatter, trip over untied shoelaces, play, toss a ball, smear a granola bar over the lips, punch, kick, scream:
"the circus is broken, the circus is broken"
The paths expand and contract along baseball fields, streets, ponds, gardens, streams, out-houses, hills, and a soccer field (actually, a makeshift soccer field with orange, plastic cones on either side of home plate
where a lone, big-breasted girl stands in white shirt and black shorts among
20 thin boys, dressed the same but without a convex chest, who line up and
kick a pitch to the goalie)
Street sounds rise and fall as paths unwind
Buildings peek-a-boo over trees
Bums prostrate in reverence of the mass of blue sky
Cooler winds brush my face and the reservoir opens in front of me, an expanse of silence, noone/nothing but ducks, a trail of dots, slide over the blue
then the sound of joggers feet on gravel approach from behind
A monolith of windows shoots from the ground in contrasting angles and I'm blinded by the sun's reflection
I'm at the MET
On the East Side
Far from 8th
I glance at my watch, 4:40
My feet are not hurting too badly so I attempt another jaunt through the park
Walk along a street through the park to attempt focus on a cardinal direction till I can no longer ignore the stinging winds of dust spun by the cars
5:10, I'm back at the MET
My feet must be bleeding
but I walk to Lexinton to catch the 6
In shirt, slacks and cheap shoes, I'm the only person with disheveled hair and a beard in sight
There's a bum!
I take the 6 and
catch the East Bound Crosstown and am at 1st Avenue before it registers . . .
jump off and catch a West Bound
My card doesn't work but the driver swings his head toward the rear and
I sit in a seat reserved for the elderly
but quickly move . . .
I don't want to involuntarily move again
I open Death and Fame and attempt empathy for Ginsberg's pain and his body's longing for the grave
I shut out the beauty of dusk in the park and allow the engine's purr to block all senses but those of Ginsberg
Off at 96th and
thinking of "Things I'll Not Do (Nostalgias)"
I walk silent blocks to my building
take the elevator
open and close my door
Remove my shoes