Pigeons. There are hundreds of pigeons in Union Square Park. Signs say, don’t feed the pigeons. Some follow these directions while others do not; an old lady tears off pieces of bread for the birds. She talks to herself too; singing under her breath. Old songs. Songs that nobody listens to anymore. Except me. She hums the Billy Strayhorn tune Lush Life. I hum along with her. I know the words from way back. Years of listening to public radio after midnight in Chicago. I used to visit all the very gay places….come what may places…where one relaxes on the axis of the wheel of life to get the thrill of life…from jazz and cocktails…., those words still mean a lot to me as I look around and the sun shines through cold air. Vendors with their organic produce and cut meats. Different types of chocolates, ciders, a real feel of Christmas. And, I’m not even aware of what day it is.
Young junkies sleeping on benches. Seniors walking their dogs. Young professionals drinking coffee and reading the paper, or, flirting with a loved one. Strayhorn’s words ring again, Romance is mush…stifling those who strive….I’ll live a lush life in some small dive….And there I’ll be as I rot with the rest…of those whose lives are lonely too…., wishing I had some money honey to make these blues go away.
Who am I kidding? Bellevue awaits.