Will, Meredith, Patrick and I did a walk across 23rd Street last Thursday night, May 8th, to get our bearings for the Kneelings on Saturday. It had looked like the skies were going to burst all day, and even as we gathered at the Chelsea Waterside Park, torrents might have rained down at any moment.
But they didn't, and we were granted one of those balmy, early spring nights, where the city feels bright and fresh and awake. Will and I took notes on where each of us, in turn, wanted to kneel - one per block. In front of the Uhaul. Under the callery pear tree. At the doors of the synagogue. In front of Home Depot's green products. At the silver door on the white building. By the vintage clothing place. Thirteen blocks over to the East Side River. We passed people walking dogs, got checked out by boys and girls, stopped traffic in the crosswalk just because we could, desperately sought places to go to the bathroom, talked, and walked along together, quiet. We tracked back to Viang Ping's Thai Food on 23rd between 2nd and 3rd, got Red Stripes at the deli down the block, and ate. The restaurant was quiet. We felt both in and supplanted from New York City, just over the doorstep. We talked about this song. I walked home, sweetly sadly savoring the whole night, seeing us changing, being with and missing loved ones near and far, even the ones I'd just left.