An old man sat on a park bench watching children play tag, joggers jogging, horse drawn carriages carrying tourists around the upper West side. He listened as millennials walked past talking of dates gone wrong, where to get the best Indian food, moms and dads back in Missouri. Old women went by with grim faces and small dogs. Leaves crinkled under his feet.
He longed for music. A symphony playing Bach, or, Mozart. Maybe a jazz trio. Folk songs of old. The American songbook. Began to hum Cole Porter tunes; like glorious, glamorous and that old stand-by amorous. The old weathered man sang under his breath. Thinking back to when he used to see Bobby Short at The Cafe Carlyle. He smiled. Began singing, New York New York…a hell of a town…The Bronx is up but the Battery’s down…People run around in a hole in the ground…, he laughed.
A Hasidic Jew walked past. They nodded to one another. Both placed their fingers on their hat’s brims; his, a pork pie hat, the old Jew a black Fedora. They smiled at one another as if to say, we don’t have much longer you and I. A young couple roller skated past them. Pigeons flew away.
Someday I’ll fly away, he thought. Someday. He got up from the bench and began his stroll over to West 72nd Street. Going home. Glad to be alive just one more day.