Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Dancer from the Dance

For what were those summer days we shared, in truth, when I could not sleep, so anxious was I for the next hot morning, afternoon, and night?  When I lived like a neurasthenic, when on getting up each morning in that revolting tenement, I was happy because the air baking over those asphalt roofs, which still bore the puddles of the thunderstorm the night before, was incandescent with heat, and the street below adorned with Puerto Ricans walking down the sidewalk with their shirts dangling from their pockets.  Those weeks in midsummer when I got on the subway at night to ride back and forth beneath the city meeting drunken soldiers trying to get back to Fort Dix, and queens as haughty as Cleopatra coming back from a night in the bars where they had refused everyone; nights so warm, so beautiful, I could not close my eyes.  What was that ragged, jagged craziness, when we could live a whole summer on a cheap song played on WNJR, but the pride of life?  It was all in our demented minds, it had to be.  The greatest drug of all, my dear, was not one of those pills in so many colors that you took over the years, was not the opium, the hash you smoked in houses at the beach, or the speed or smack you shot up in Sutherland's apartment, no, it wasn't any of these.  It was the city, darling, it was the city, unreal city, the city itself ..

Andrew Holleran

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