Make It Here

This is the 13th in a series of posts about New York.

It is simultaneously hard and easy to grieve in this city.

On one hand, you’re one among millions – who at any one time might be suffering a loss or tragedy, and it’s easy to quickly slip into the pulse and flow and forget about your individual burden. On the other hand, you’re one among millions – and as you ache and writhe and twist and turn, the things that pain you so individually and acutely are just lost in the shuffle.

Every street corner – someone’s got a new sob story. Someone just needs a dollar to get back to Albany – he got robbed and he can’t make his busfare to get home to his dying grandma. Someone else is sleeping outside with her six kids and her two Yorkies – can you just spare a $20 or maybe spot her the next meal?

There is tragedy everywhere, here.

How do you not become immune to it? How do you walk around – past the women and men holding out their cups and cans; holding up their dogs and their babies and their tears – and go on with your day?  How do you notice it and not become overwhelmed by it?

How do you explain the gaps in the skyline, or, the scars, or the fear, or the day when the steampipe ruptured in midtown and we all ran screaming out of our offices and headed for the Bronx on foot?

It’s not that easy to make sense of; it’s not so easy to explain.

New York is not so easy.

But they say that if you can make it here, you can make it anywhere. You hear Liza and you hear Frank singing it; their voices echo through Yankee Stadium, depending upon the outcome. I don’t have to tell you: It is not so easy to make it here.

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