Monday, May 03, 2010

the razor's edge



We considered the possibilities as the rain exploded in tropical storm ferocity and the streets turned into exquisite mirrors. There are points in our lives of perfect balance and points of ferocious balance when no choice looks as bad as standing exactly where you find yourself.

"Didn't Janis Joplin sing, "freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose?"' I asked. "She did." "I heard her sing that in Madison Square Garden," I said. "And then we went back home and then she died. Everybody dies." "Don't get weird on me." "I'll try."

There is a long silence as traffic whooshes through the water piling on the street. The Seagram's Building, modern perfection, casts a warm glow into the puddles that creep under Lever House where we sit, staying dry. Somewhere over there a really bad trumpet player plays. Behind us a tourist struggles with a hot dog stand that is both "Kosher" and "Halal." He wants ketchup, but this being New York, they do not seem to have it. It's like asking for tartar sauce for your fish and chips at Leo Burdock's.


"Well, I'll do one or the other," I whisper, "or not." "Just pick one," she says,
the touch of anger flashing from her eyes as they reflect the traffic signal changing from green to red, "it doesn't matter, you just need, we just need, a plan."

"I want French onion soup," I announce. "Real french soup and like I'm an airline pilot in 1965."
"What?" "We're going to the Brasserie across the street." "Isn't that really expensive?" "Sure, but I'm gonna do something, and whatever, they'll pay me." "I suppose they will." "See, all it takes is faith." "Sure."

We run across Park Avenue amidst the rain, forcing cabs to brake and honk, splashing in the gutters.


(c) copyright 2007 - 2010 by Ira Socol

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