It’s strange to feel sympathy for New York. New York is the prom queen, the girl leaning in to touch up her perfect lipstick at the mirror while you try not to notice that your hair is flat. She’s the one that everybody loves. She’s the glittering dream of a destination, the best character in all my favorite movies: Manhattan, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, An Affair to Remember.
I know her skyline better than the city I live in. She’s the dream. The goal. She’s where you move when you’ve made it, when your book is successful. People there shine. They go to plays and galleries, wear designer clothes and too-tall shoes. Ladies there lunch. On salads with unexpected ingredients, at tables with long linen cloths. Of course, business and industry are there, but the style. That’s what New York is. That’s what the dream of New York is.
That’s why it’s so strange. The pictures of flooding, of disaster. Of so many without power. Cabs submerged, blocks burned. While my Sandy gave me two extra days of weekend and brought down that dead branch in the back yard, their lives have been irrevocably changed.
It’s insufficient and irrelevant to say my thoughts are with New York, that my heart goes out to those affected. That doesn’t change anything for them; my emotional response is about me.
And yet. My thoughts are with those affected in New York.