Sunday, November 3, 2013

For awhile


I stand on the steps  with A. It’s a cool October  morning. And I’m missing fall back home in southwestern  Pennsylvania. The taste of  air crisp as a bite into a fall apple. The smell of cinnamon  and nutmeg in outdoor cider pots over fire. The last ears of fresh corn before winter at  roadside stands. We enjoy a moment together before  A heads off for work.

Before the day is over, there are more and more messages from A. Increasingly incoherent.

As Jamie and I are waiting to meet mayoral candidate Bill DiBlasio, seemingly an actual progressive candidate, concerned about people on the margins, I get the worst call yet.  A is in a park somewhere. With homies, A says. Missing keys. And shoes. I determine that the park is across the street from A’s apartment. I tell A to forget the keys. Just go home. Just go home.

I feel a deep sadness coming over me. All that work yesterday…..  Yes, it works. But I hear the in my head the two words at the end of Leonard Cohen’s Tonight Will Be Fine that always hit you like a punch to the stomach:  …….for awhile.

Yes it works. For awhile.

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