OK so we’re all trickling back to our respective metropolises stuffed with fancy new gadgets, gift cards blazing, little thick round the middle like your man likes it but you uncomfortable about, ready to experience the city anew. Bags packed all organized. Lists in the moleskins, iPhones synced, New Years Resolutions lists already in the second edit. And gazing out the windows of cabs from JFK and buses from Chinatown, we feel poetic, too. Leaving home, forging home. Through the glass the world lays large and our hearts gape to let it in. Playing tunes from back in the day in the earbuds, scribbling notes, thinking about love, thinking about fathers and mothers and adventures yet to come. Feeling fresh in your crispy new denims and wools. Lug the extra bag through the threshold and your tiny apartment doesn’t even seem quite as cramped and dusty as it did when you escaped home for the holiday.
And then it greets you: the Subway Stare. Welcoming you back to the city. It says: “Who the fuck are you? Wait, damn my ass itches.” You love the city and it loves you back, tough love. It says: “I hope you weren’t planning on looking for beauty in my cracks and crevices cuz all I got is some lint, baby. Fuck I need a foot massage tho.” It’s a collective stare, the glazed over look of a people all together, innocence lost, avoiding pointless eye contact, just waiting to get back to their lives, to the people who love them, trying to pretend they’re not underground with a lot of strangers, one of whom smells like pickles and toenails.
But what about society? Aren’t we all in this together, goodness to
mankind, helping fellow citizens and all this? What about tragic, quivering beauty in the places you least expect it, what about the kindness of strangers!???! What about Anwar Fazal? What about our cities are our future?
“Ooh in the future I should remember those Starbucks breakfast sandwiches make me ga-ssy. They should put a bathroom on this.”
Welcome home, city slick.