tragic_mask: (intelligence)
[personal profile] tragic_mask
July in New York is packaged hamburgers, and dog shit, and blondes in short skirts. It’s jazz music in Central Park while gay joggers stand nearby, tapping their feet to the rhythm while their sunburned faces beam. It’s pretention, and tan lines—it’s the redefinition of yourself, and the drowning of yourself in patches of sunlight between bright rustling trees.

It’s the oppressive, driving heat that weighs on you but moves in waves, flowing around you and seeping in underneath your white cotton shirts and sensible shoes. Suddenly everyone is a theatre enthusiast and a sophisticated diner—indoors, the heat can almost be pushed aside, made less of a symbol of anything in life.

Summer is fun. They call it the time to cast off all your troubles and be reborn—adults shake off the stereotype in the face of recurring evidence but it clings on, determined. Businessmen move through the city in their black slacks and ties, sweating under the collar, briefcases swinging.

Through this, she moves like a suicide bomber to a revving engine: her steps are deliberate and heavy, each stabbing in stiletto past the smell of melting cement. Her hair is curled into a bun on her neck, messy and dark.

She hasn’t seen him in months, hasn’t thought about him. Even her denials—that she doesn’t miss his breaths like dissipating sunshine, his rippling arms holding her tightly in exactly the right place—have been lost, and she is waiting, walking down the sidewalk outside her apartment and wishing for rain.

As she walks, she watches a shimmering line of skyscrapers haze on the horizon—she moves, almost like ballet in her silver shoes, to allow an inattentive, sweaty-knuckled biker by. The silence closes in again, and the dance is over. She gasps, and clutches, memories like a crack in the sidewalk making her stumble.

(They say never leave me again but then they’re gone in the morning, and they’ve wiped their footprints from the doorway so you think you might have just dreamed it.
You did.)
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November 2009

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