I Put On Some Clothes

I put on some clothes and go out in the streets of New York. It’s a simple formula for complete fulfillment, and I feel it every time I get out of my apartment. Every other city has everything New York has now, and if they don’t have it today, they can order it and it will be there tomorrow. But only New York has these streets, endless brick trenches that dreamers have been pinballing down for hundreds of years. Everybody who was nobody and dreamed themselves into being somebody is an ancestor of mine, and I walk in their footsteps every day. The streets are stern fathers in the winter, yelling at us to hurry up, and they are cool cousins in the summer, telling us to hang out. I’ve been in a hurry for months, I’m tired of it, so today I’m going to dress for spring and will it into existence. You can’t spell audacity without (say this in a Brooklyn accent:) “A, U Da City”

I’m cold in a thin wool blazer, but I got a beaver fur felt hat that’s dulling the edge of the chill, so If I step with a little pep I’m almost alright. Like every other day, the streets are fully immersed in cold shade, but on the block ahead of me is a pizza-slice-shape of sunlight on the sidewalk and my feet lead me right to it, even though its out of my way. I’m wearing penny loafers and my feet, furthest from the sun and closest to the grave, are looking for warmth. I stand in the beam like a blob of cheese, trying to melt. As long I’m basking in the light I am justified in wearing these clothes. I’m also losing daylight, so I leave one slice of sunlight, and speed walk to the next one. The next slice of sunlight is on the corner, big enough to be a whole pie, and I stand there and turn my face to the big heat lamp in the sky, glad for once that I’m waiting on a long street light to change.

I’m hit with the scent of hot asphalt, smelling better than roses to me. A crew is filling a trench in the street with fresh asphalt, 4 guys with shovels, two guys with wheel barrows, and one guy driving a asphalt roller. These guys are all looking at me in my thin wool blazer and my big beaver fur hat, and I’m enjoying looking back. The traffic light is long enough that I have time to invent backstory about their missing boss, the envelope of payroll cash that diappeared, the underpaid workers that just finished filling a hole, and the asphalt roller trying to smooth out a stubborn six-foot long lump. The workers are looking at me and im feeling bad for making them murderers, so I look away and walk across the street towards the  long strip of still-steaming fresh asphalt.  A guy on a citibike (in shorts! and flip flops!-This fool skipped audacity and went straight to travesty) rides along side me and looks at my shiny shoes to see what I’ll do. I don’t break my stride and my next step lands in the center of the asphalt. I’m again aware of how cold my feet are, in these loafers and mismatched socks. The sun has lit up every cell in me except these feet that wanted the vitamin D more than the rest of me. As soon as I registered the cold I realized I feel the warmth of the asphalt, glowing like black coals under my foot. I bring my left foot to rest next to the right, and I hold them there, feet to the fire and I wait until It’s summer in my socks. I look at the citi bike bro and act stuck. Workers start whistling and yelling at me, bike bro slams on the brake stopping short of the hot asphalt, and the bike tosses him like a wrapper to the street. It suddenly feels like 79 degrees on my soles, and I step off. For a few steps my shoes feel like work boots and I kick off the asphalt that stuck to my shoe and revel in how warm my feet are, finally. Winter is over, if you want it.