Monday, June 11, 2007

A Fine Romance

253A Fine Romance

What did they call those notes the young girls wrote to the soldiers in World War II, saying a tearful goodbye? “A Dear John Letter?” This is one of those. But the recipient won’t take it hard as the receiving soldier must have, because this romance has been largely one sided for more than 60 years.

New York won’t notice it got the letter. But here it is.

It’s been forming for a long time. Maybe Christmas Eve on 34th Street put it over the top.

It was Rabat, or Delhi or St. Petersburg or Cairo that day. And Tijuana, Taipei, Tokyo and Seoul. And Port Au Prince, and the Seychelles.

The basic city hadn’t changed. The walls and buildings and streets were the same. But She put on new makeup and new costumes and the Old Boyfriend was out of place. Bull in a china shop? Fifth wheel on a Land Rover? Pine needles on an oak tree?

Such English as there was came with Boston and Montgomery and Des Moines and Lake Charles overtones.

Where were the “dees, dems and doze?” Where is Sadie from Orchard Street? Where is Gianni from Mulberry Street? Where is Mayor Van Wyck, and how come no one can say his name right anymore?

How can you walk on 125th Street and hardly see a black face?

How did the pushcarts get from the Lower East Side to Midtown?

New York’s importing Her mascara from Lahore, not Paris.

Does it make a difference? Not to Her, and in the long run, not to the Old Boyfriend, either.

Move on. It’s not the same place. It’s not the same time, it’s not the same city. Maybe a movie set of New York? Get over it.

I'm Wes Richards. My opinions are my own, but you're welcome to them.™

©wjr 2005, 2007

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