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2008-08-24 - 1:26 a.m.

A love story in the city?

The streets shake with it…but they look still, don’t they? It’s too sincere for daylight, here. But they are there.

The flowers left at the steps of the Roosevelt’s lobby. A girl sitting on the steps of Union Square watching seconds and tears fall past midnight onto a cell phone lying still. Shadows against a tree in the park some too late night. Two drinks left half finished at the bar. A hotel room locks. Do not disturb. Three days straight like that, and damn the timeclock at work. Five shots lay in wreckage one on the other, a chair is knocked over, and someone finds refuge on the curb for what seems like hours.

Trains pass and two don’t notice, while another tries not to see them while he boards.

There’s a crowd under one umbrella, while a man walks, drenched, with his hands in pockets.

Someone is waiting on a corner, while his someone finds the one she wants waiting, and praying, legs curled underneath him, staring out a window ten miles wide in the Met.

Watch the rain, as it pushes down the block, some of it falling down drains, some of it skipping round the bend to flood another corner. It’s in there somewhere. Pandora’s box didn’t open like dynamite. It flowed. Like tears. Like joy. And heartbreak too. One steady stream keeping every corner flooded.

Love in this city? It drips out of the air conditioners on the third floor, and crumples on the sidewalk. You’ll see it bounce on toes, staring at a bassist with her eyes closed. It swirls with ice and scotch in a lounge on the Upper East side. A man at a restaurant sits alone, looking for it between pages of a book.

And someone admires him.

We’re up against the wall, caught tight between two rivers, drawn by tides to a corner. Drawn all the way down, where Staten Island seems our only horrible escape. No irony to save us, no friendly drop of sarcasm to stay thine hand.

A woman sees herself in a painting, and knows what she’s lost. She steels her hand around cheap champagne.

A love story? In this town? There’s always one. Ever just that one.

The one you’ve lived. The one you know.

It repeats itself in feet on the pavement. The creak of a subway turnstile, and the thump of a taxi’s door.

It repeats like bad Chinese.

And, you don’t need me to tell it.

Mainly because, I don’t know it. Don't know yours. And that's what matters.

Anyway...

...I’m still sitting beside the girl in Union Square. Crying beside her, as I watch her phone refuse to ring.

A love story? In this town?

We love this town, because it lets off the hook. It lets us get away without loving, and the city says it’s okay.

The city whispers to us.

‘You love me. And that’s enough.’

And we all wish it was. We all pray it was.

But that girl in Union Square…she’s picked up her phone and she’s walking downtown.

She’s sick of waiting.

Because that’s love. Love bounding over flooded corners. Love walking without an umbrella. She’s sick of waiting.

And it doesn’t matter the corner, the time, the city, the anything…nothing but that someone.

She’s sick of waiting.

And it makes me smile to see her go.

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