Thursday, April 18, 2024

Watch The Time

Despite the cold, despite carrying a cane, my hair too long and much more grey than when I first haunted these streets, I still glow with a mild, pleasant frisson when I walk down by NYU. 

I can see the ghosts of the weed guys patrolling the entrances to Washington Square Park (“Green? Trees? Smoke-smoke-smoke”), outlaws rendered superfluous by the dull respectability of law. And across the park squats the staid old brick nunnery where an ex-girlfriend exiled herself in despair after we broke up, before she transformed herself into a photographer and disappeared for years. 

And all around, in the present, the students: insecure and absolutely certain, loudly pronouncing their loves and opinions to impress one another, feeling their awkward incompleteness and yet more graceful and full of life than they may ever be again in their lives, walking these streets like lions or children, greeting each other with joy, arm in arm, lonely, anxious, suicidal, foolish, radiant, brilliant, beautiful, not knowing or caring how wonderful it is to be young, how fast it goes away.

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