I take the bus now, every day, through Central Park at 97th Street, past Julia’s apartment where I hung out for seven years, past the doormen I got to know, past the entrance where we’d take the dogs, past the paths where they’d walk and the ball fields they’d circle. All of them, including Julia. Bronnie’s dad lives on 96th and Fifth, and so such close reminders are a little torture everyday.
Today in particular it was bad. It was the beautiful snow, and the cold, and it was Christmas, and it was 97th Street and the dogs (Dolly would rub her face in the new snow and come up a tiny crystalline flower face), and it was Julia (who I imagine, if she thinks of me at all, is just happy to be rid of me). It was Bronnie’s dad sometimes crying behind his bedroom door as I come in. (He lost his wife a year ago in a couple of weeks.) I am the cheerful one at his house across the park from Julia’s. But the truth is that every day, on my way to Bronnie’s dad’s house, and on my way back, I, too, ache from longing and loss. I stuff the tears, and they live in my stomach and chest like rocks.
It’s pathetic, right? No, I don’t think so. I think that it is good to have a heart, and to care. I think that it is good to feel love for someone you love, and to miss them. What is not good is to freeze. I refuse to freeze. I’d rather live in this blizzard, then to freeze.