A New York song, “Freesia” took elements from a walk back to our apartment in 1990 and a middle-of-the-night phone call with a friend this year. One image bright and hot and bendy; the other cold, haunting and rigid. Our New York was one of old movies, picturesque garbage strikes and trains. My friend’s 2010 New York is spooky and unkind. It didn’t matter that we were broke back then, New York lifted us up from underneath, but my friend is starving, pushed down by a city that doesn’t seem to care.
If you carry flowers down the street, you can’t smell the garbage; it’s just something you walk past. But wherewithal is hard to come by. It’s an elusive strength, like luck, and it doesn’t always bend down to kiss you on a cold night. After all, that’s what cold nights are for: cold. You can rise up to meet that spirit in your own way, by freezing your goddamn ass off. Then you’ll know what it’s like inside the next cold person you see. Maybe on a bright, bendy day when your luck has improved and you have a few spare flowers.