If you ask me, I say the best part of the day happens at sunrise. I say it happens before the streetlamps give way and surrender their post to the new day. It’s beautiful here in New York City. Sunlight is on the rise but nightfall has yet to loosen its grip. There is a brief pause in the skyline—same as there is a brief pause in us, just moments before we inhale and exhale. The moment is still, just like we are still between breaths. I have to say it again, Pop, this is the best time of day.
The sky is neither dark nor light but perfectly in-between. Queens and Long Island City are nearby but my old familiar friends seem more like strangers to me now. Soon enough the top of the sun will break the membrane and touch the bottom of the sky. The day will grow legs and if I don’t speak now, I might just miss my opportunity to speak with you.
I love the City this way. Looking out, I can see the rooftops and the tall peaks and spires of places like The Chrysler Building and One Bryant Park.
The streets are quiet for now, and me, I take to the roof of my building to look west and see the glitter of Times Square. I look uptown and downtown from my spot above Lexington Avenue. I watch the buildings change appearance beneath morning light and I stand as still as possible to take in the views.
I love this place . . .
I come here when I need it most—the quiet time, I mean. Work has yet to set the pace and armed with a few thoughts—and of course, a hot cup of coffee, I come here to find myself a little substance and sip from my coffee cup in peace.
Sometimes I wonder too much. I feel too insecure, too worried, and too overwhelmed with thoughts that are probably nowhere close to accurate. And it hurts sometimes.
And when it hurts I can feel the old familiar things creeping up on me. This is how it is—not just with me, but for those who are like me. The weight gets heavy and the machine in my head starts to overheat. That’s why I come up here to switch gears and let my engine rest.
I am a firm believer in that if you don’t know, then you can’t know. And if you ask me, I say there are two kinds of people in this world—those who know and those who don’t. Suffice to say, I am both in many cases.
Standing on the blacktop roof with the Empire State Building in my peripheral, downtown is a memory to me and west is Jersey, which is no longer an enemy and nearly my home. The air is cool enough to allow my breath to smoke. The wind is strong enough to shake the strands of my hair and the sky is kind enough that as I think to myself; I feel calm during the lifting sunlight over Manhattan.
I stand here trying to figure the unanswerable questions and ponder the unfathomable curiosities of Heaven and the afterlife. I wonder if you receive any of these letters or if you and Mom are together now in a way that my earthly thoughts could never comprehend.
“Breathe,” I tell myself—and as ordered, I calmly inhaled through my nose as deep as I can before exhaling through my mouth as hard as possible.
Sometimes, the wheel in my head spins way too quickly. And I worry. I worry about you and what you think of me. I worry if I will make it to where I want to be and I wonder if I’ll ever find my way to the stage and free these words that carry on in my head.
This morning, I found my way up to the roof to speak with you. I feel I speak best when I’m here with you alone, up high, and far above the world. There are no interruptions and no distractions. There’s no one here but us.
There is something I need you to do for me and it’s important. I have to go someplace tomorrow—it’s for an interview and I could use you with me on this one. And I know everyone tells me “He’s always with you.”I know they tell me, “You’re your Father’s son.” But I could really use you tomorrow Pop; if for nothing else, I would love to show you what I’m working on.
They tell me I might be good at this
They say I might be able to help people.
I guess I just wish you were here to see what I’m working on.
I think you’d be proud to see your little boy is all grown up
I’ll write you soon, Pop.
Tell Mom I say “Hello.”