I will call this a “Thing” because
there are so many more names to call it.
But either way, I have this “Thing” inside me.
I have this “Thing,” in me,
a voice perhaps, or a life, like a child
or a little kid that hides away.
The old saying goes, “You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make it drink.” I believe this is true.
Then again, sometimes we try to lead a horse to water and the horse isn’t even thirsty.
There are times when we think we are doing the right thing. There are times when we’re only trying to be helpful. But there is something we tend to forget.
Help is a reciprocal agreement. Help has nothing to do with me or you. Help is not about saying the right thing or offering the best possible suggestion. Actually, in crucial times, help is often extremely quiet because listening is usually the most helpful thing we can do.
For my day job, I am a union worker in an old building. This building is part of New York City’s history. This is part of our labor’s history as well. Although the doors officially opened in 1929, the building was completed in 1927.
Some of the stories I’ve heard are conflicting. I have been told that my building was the tallest in the world until The Chrysler opened up in 1930. But the history books tell the story differently.
Sometimes I find myself opening up old walls and breaking through old columns to find newspaper clippings from 1927. The paper is brittle and yellow and most often crumpled, which makes it difficult to unfold and read the news.
Of all things to believe in life, there has to be at least a semblance of hope. There has to be at minimum, at least a trace of light because otherwise, what else is there except for the dimness and the shadows of doubt?
Of all things to believe in, no matter how bad things may seem or how badly one might want to jump from their own skin; no matter how dark it gets or stormy or bumpy the road may seem, there has to be at least a minimum sense of drive.
I have always been amazed by my City.
I’ve gone through different phases and different circumstances in my life but ah, my City, She has always been good to me.
There have been nights when I took to a rooftop of a building and stood high above the streets and the hustle of the cabs. I looked out at the scene. I looked at the windows of apartment buildings and noticed the lamps in bedrooms and living rooms.
There has always been something interesting to me about the way a television could flicker in a room — the bluish light illuminates against the walls to give the window view a certain glow. The City is filled with millions of windows like this. And the truth is, I love every single one of them.
There are early mornings, like today, for example, I was driving down the Westside Highway alongside the Hudson River before the sunrise. The moon was out. The buildings on the Manhattan side appeared to be resting for the moment. Across the river is New Jersey, who is a friend to me now, although, this wasn’t always the case. The Hudson River moves like a black sheet of glass; the lights from the stagnant ships and barges reflect across the river’s surface. This was my view this morning. Otherwise, the highway was empty because the rest of the world was sleeping.
It isn’t as much as what’s said or done, it’s what is taken away. It’s the aftermath. It’s the ideas and the thoughts and feelings that linger after the abuse. This is the real theft.
This is what bullying does. It’s not just being picked on, shoved, or kicked around. This is more than the character assassinations or the cancellation of someone’s character. Bullying is the humiliation that lingers like an unseen scar, which in some cases will last a lifetime.
I admit it . . .
The times can get to a person. I admit the tension is incredible. Politics have overtaken the news and become the new religion. The reports and the stories about the riots and the violence are enough to break us all. Or at minimum, the stories are enough to break and distract me from my greater self.
I admit it. The social moods can be contagious. Only, I don’t think social distancing and face masks are the proper defense for things like this.
I don’t want to catch moods like this. No, I want to be better. I want to be strong. I want to be helpful and I wan to serve. I want to do more and be more because otherwise, I will only become less and less if I choose to give in.
The one thing I say is something I hear most people say when they regard today’s youth. I laugh too because I think this is funny. However, out of anything that I am grateful for with regards to the wildness of my youth, I am most grateful for the fact that there is no proof or video surveillance that dates back from this time.
I agree that I was absolutely crazy. I lived through absolutely crazy times, which wasn’t all bad. I swear, in some cases, it is necessary to be as wild as you can, and to live, to scream, and to be as loud as possible. This is a necessary part of youth. Youth must always be youthful and in order to do that, youth must have the chance to live life.
We were not bubble-wrapped or as protected back then, which could be why kids today are so overly guarded. Maybe their parents viewed too much when they were kids and this is the means of reversion. What I mean is this is like a slingshot that was pulled back too far and now it snapped back too far in the opposite direction.
I am often reminded of a billboard I used to see in Long Island City before driving over the 59th Street Bridge. The sign was perched high in the air above the on-ramp. The letters were big and bright, which was perfect at nighttime. The sign said, “Perfection is not an accident”.
I believe in this.
Perfection is most definitely not an accident.
Yesterday was a pretty day. The sun was out. The sky was blue and the winds were warm. If you didn’t know what was going on then you couldn’t know what was going on. Yesterday seemed like a regular, ordinary Sunday. To some though, or actually to a great many, yesterday had an entirely different meaning.