The smoke alarms were going off. This told me the super had installed them properly, which was a surprise. Two of them were going off, one beeping, and one was saying, “Fire…. Fire…. Fire….”
I didn’t want to get up, and I thought, someone was cooking, and they’ll handle it.
A crazy man drove his car into a crowd this week, and the press reported, “Terrorist Attack.” Some news hits you so hard, and some news just bounces right off me, like that bit. I was just like, I am moving, my whole life is falling down around me, I can’t compute other threats.
When I went to my meditation group, though, one of the women who was there lived right at the scene of the crime. She looked out her windows and saw it.
“I couldn’t leave the apartment,” she said. “We were on lockdown.” We listened to her story.
Another woman was in Puerto Rico during the hurricane. She showed us pictures from her balcony, before and after: green Eden and winter sketch.
My roommate opened my door and said, “Do you know which apartment the super lives in?” I didn’t.
But I put my glasses on, texted the super. I got up, and saw the whole hallway was full of smoke.
Except it wasn’t. It was steam.
Last night I went from work to the psychiatrist, for my last prescriptions of my (current) New York life. My psychiatrist lives and works on Central Park West, and feeling like a real New Yorker, up there in her office, is not worth having panic attacks, but is cool.
I got on the wrong train, noticing only when I saw daylight above my Candy Crush hypnosis, we were on our way to Brooklyn and MY DOCTOR IS IN MANHATTAN.
I arrived at 5 for my 4:45 appointment, feeling like I didn’t need my medication, but WHAT IF I DID?
There was another woman in the waiting room. Ah. It’s all good.
When you see another person at the office of a mental health professional, it feels like you are in some sort of conspiracy. No one ever says, “What are you in for?” But everyone’s wondering how crazy the others are.
I petted my doctor’s dog and she wrote my prescriptions and wished me well.
Walking to the subway, I heard a loud boom, like fireworks.
You know how everyone always says, “It sounded like fireworks?”
The New Yorker commitment to acting like it’s all cool is so deep that no one, I mean no one, appeared alarmed. I was walking down Broadway, the weather was perfect, it was Friday night, and everyone was more concerned with looking like everything was cool than, you know, not dying.
Or perhaps they had all gotten the text alert from the city that some running group had a permit to shoot off fireworks to celebrate the New York marathon.
Why you would shoot off fireworks in Central Park to celebrate being about to run a marathon? I mean, maybe at the end.
I turned a corner and saw the color, red and white sparkles. Fireworks.
The whole apartment hallway being a cloud was nice, pore-opening, I love the tropical, humidity.
We hope nothing was ruined by the moisture.
The floors aren’t ours.
Every fall here, the boilers are lit, one day you notice your radiators are on, maybe the skeletal barging around sounds, maybe it’s just warm and you don’t have to turn on the space heater and you’re like, Oh, wait, it’s on.
Image: “Tristan Tzara,” Man Ray, Metropolitan Museum of Art.