A Year In New York

A Daily Bite of the Big Apple

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Day 5: When No One Knows You’re There

July 1st · 1 Comment

Across First Street, a crew of workmen in red shirts and orange hardhats are suspended ten stories up, doing some scrubwork involving the bricks. A short tubby guy and a tall lanky guy have shared a catwalk for two days now, and they enjoy each other’s company, even if their employer might not like how much they talk.

Yesterday Lanky got so involved in the story he was telling that he abandoned the pretense of work and sat down so he could really deliver Tubby the tale, emphasizing his points with his gloved hands, while Tubby looked back at him and dabbed absently at the wall.

The story looked gripping but was lost to me across four lanes of taxi and truck traffic, not to mention my windows, double-paned and mirrored, great for looking out while letting no one in.

The fifth floor is a good vantage point to spy the street. The concert T-shirt worn by the elderly man limping by reads Black Sabbath. A prim woman pushes an orange baby stroller.

My view extends south, each building higher than the next, like foothills leading up to a mountain range of skyscrapers around 50th Street. The eyes of perhaps 250 windows peer back. How many people are sitting alone at those windows, looking back at my blank window?

I could sit here and look at them all day. Or I could stand with my nose to the glass and shout and wave at Lanky to tell me the story, tell me the story. But Lanky would never hear.

Eight million people in the city of New York at last count, and that makes it lonelier, that such a multitude don’t know I’m there.

Tags: Personalities · Sights & Scenes · Why I Hate This Town

1 response so far ↓

  • 1 Bev // Jul 26, 2008 at 3:34 pm

    Dude, you need Whispervision, stat!

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