Saturday, September 12, 2015

Autumn In New York

A few days after the idyllic ending days of August,  Jerome walked around Chelsea and kept wishing the autumn weather would soon kick in. These first days of September were very hot and debilitating. He especially liked to wander around the city in September, and the shift in the weather that usually came energized him as he explored what has always been the new season for the arts. There were shows opening, galleries putting forth their best exhibitions, food festivals such as Madison Square Eats or the Oyster Festival, and of course City Center Dance with this year's theme of Fall into Dance. This he had gleaned by stopping for a drink at East of 8th, an intriguing place that Jerome was still trying to figure out. There he had a chance to check his smartphone to see what destinations might be the most promising.

But truth be told, although Jerome kept his phone with him as a close friend, it was still more like a distant relative from a younger generation. For his younger friends, the technology hummed as part of their being. He couldn't walk around  plugged in with earbuds, listening to music. This prevented him from hearing the music and sounds of the city that was as vital to him as the visual experience.

Now appeared to be a time in which those who had been closer to him in the past were more distant, their orbits ranging to other needs, demands and interests. He recognized this as a necessary  evolution in relationships. But he believed that on a fundamental level they remain constant to his experience.

He had just been going through many systemic changes and wanted to share them, but it no longer seemed possible through the configurations of the past which now emerged drained of spontaneity. But the immediacy might now come from other sources.

Yesterday he had been experiencing an intense artistic breakthrough. It was an extended high as though he were on drugs. He realized part of the source was the energy of new people in his life who had imbued him with their energy and zest for living, and suddenly he was aware of new projects, ideas, major alterations. Additionally, it seemed clear that an indispensable source for writing and creating includes social media and blogging.

He had these creative binges before, especially in college, and often came crashing down. Some collapses were quite serious, but always led to positive growth. Yesterday had been a synethesia, a mixing of sensory experiences and genre.  He couldn't help but think of the poets Coleridge and Wordsworth who were perpetually high on life (and heroin) and were the rock stars of the 19th Century. Jerome had always thought of himself as a poet living a masquerade, minus the heroin.

People he would like to engage more in a dialogic exchange were also not accustom to the technology providing that possibility, so there were many missed opportunities. But now there were some new friends that seemed to be more attuned to his need for exchange and didn't feel it was so much of an imposition. It was difficult to find a balance because text on a screen can sometimes the opposite of what is intended. Emoticons were not necessarily the solution to the clarity of emotions and meanings.

By now, the reader might well wonder where this story is going. Well it's headed toward Autumn, if we can believe titles.  Of course, this contains an assumption that there are any readers around. I am learning that writers must assume there are readers, or I'm not sure how they could remain sane. But I am learning writers can be a closeted group, writing their stories in solitary confinement.

We can only observe that Jerome now was sorry that he didn't go into the Chelsea Square Restaurant and to join Suna and Hana when he had seen them a few days earlier. That would have been the spontaneous thing to do. They were so casual and enjoying each other's company as they sat over coffee.

If that had happened we might have had a humorous turn of events, because the trio often laughed together over the most trivial things.  I think we might be genuinely happy if Jerome could lighten up a bit and trust the humor in life. Sometimes he just thinks too much. His best moments seem to be when he simply lets go and connects to the immediacy of the moment.

Well, with that in mind, as Jerome walked out of East of 8th, he heard the strains of Autumn in New York sounding in his mind's ear:

Autumn in New York...
Why does it seem so inviting?   
Autumn in New York... 
It spells the thrill of first-nighting  
Glimmering crowds  
And shimmering clouds  
In canyons of steel   
They're making me feel,   
I'm home...

He looked west and followed his eyes to the river, and there was a hint of joy and laughter in the air. There was the thrill of a new beginning, new experiences, new friends... the turning of leaves to the colors of October ---and then the glistening snow... life is about change, he thought, and tentatively he started to let go and enjoy.

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