Saturday, July 09, 2011

The Vanishing Act

I was very happy to asked by my friend, Mr. Hamish Robertson, to contribute to his magazine, Afterzine. I was asked to write on the topic of coincidence.  

Here is a little peek at my piece, "The Vanishing Act." 

My very last night in New York, I was running late. I'd already moved out of my Brooklyn apartment, and was staying in the strange hinterland of the Upper East Side, but needed to get over to Chelsea in time for my friend's birthday dinner. Cabs were nowhere to be seen, even on Fifth Ave. and I was going to be at least an hour late. I left defeated. The City had finally beat me. Then the fireworks started. 

It was the night before the Marathon, and it just so happened that where I was standing, right on the west side of Fifth Ave., right across from the pond, right in a gap in the trees of Central Park, was the best place  in all of New York City to see the Marathon fireworks. 

They had a lot of my favorite ones, the best one, the huge slow golden ones that look like champagne bubbles falling over the skyline. Standing alone in my coat and heels on my last night in New York, the air sharp with the promise of winter, I watched the fireworks until they were done, and then got into the cab which appeared suddenly. When I got to Chelsea, my friend hadn't even been seated yet. 

Growing up I was one of those girls who loved horses. I broke bones, and severed nerves, got up at 4 in the morning and gave up birthday parties on the weekends. It made me tough and taught me responsibility, and I wanted more than anything to be good at it. I felt sorry for adults who would wistfully at a horse and say, "I used to ride," and I promised I would never give it up. Of course I eventually did. I sold my horse back to my trainer for ten dollars and moved to Poughkeepsie for school. Now I explain that the dent in my thigh comes from the days when "I used to ride." I feel ashamed, guilty even, that I grew out of it, like Wendy turning away from Peter to her terrible grown up face.

 I felt the same way about leaving New York. 

To read the rest of "The Vanishing Act," you can purchase Afterzine here, for ten dollars, and it will be shipped to you. It is very, very pretty.