What Used To Be In New York City (Draft 1)

What Used To be In New York City

The winter is darkly sad here:
the roads are closed for snow,
the subway is not running.

I can not go to Broadway
because the Plays are suspended

and the Long Island Railroad
is hiding.

I remember there used to be a snowball,

the play used to go on
and there was flaky suspension.

They can’t even scrape the rails:
used to be that a scrape
and a scab was nothing.

Everyone sang in the snow
hitched a ride on paradise.

I miss the day when
I got lost in the snow
and somebody’s dog
licked my face.

— Douglas Gilbert

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4 thoughts on “What Used To Be In New York City (Draft 1)

  1. If I were there we could go out snow-exploring and make some snow angels or maybe a snow man and maybe we could dance and try to catch snowflakes on our tongues for good luck. Then we could go inside and make some hot cocoa or coffee or whiskey and snuggle up with a warm blanket and watch movies or something. I bet it is weird to see a big city all quiet like that. I like the ending with someone’s dog licking your face…

    1. Thanks. I like using my imagination. But I do remember that they never closed everything down — they had special work trains that went up and back all night and day to keep the rails clean and then the passenger trains kept going and the plays stayed open. But actually I only went to see a play on Broadway twice or maybe three times — very expensive.
          I think the first time I bought two tickets and booked a hotel room in Manhattan. I was very ambitious (I don’t remember why).
          I didn’t have a date, but they used to have discussion groups on hot topics in a church building on Central Park West. So I checked into my hotel room.early(actually I had to switch hotels because they lost my reservation). My plan was to go to the discussion group, pick up a woman, go to the play…
          I went to the play with two tickets… It went down hill from there.
          One time I got standing room. You stand in a lobby area behind the Orchestra seats, below the balcony. While I was there I saw a woman looking around. She was looking for a friend who never showed up. I said there’s a street fair — wanna go…So we went to the street fair after the play, ate something from one of the vendors and then we stopped in a bar…So then I find out she’s married… I say, “Um, uh, um. Well, um, uh, ah, um… Well, next time you’re in Manhattan, so you want to meet just to talk?” She says, “I couldn’t.” I walked with her to her bus stop, she got on the bus, and they ran away.
          Now I could never afford a ticket for a play unless I write one…

    2. Since then, I’ve become three times shy and I don’t think I could be bold again. I used to read about opening lines and how to make conversation but I could do only the opening, and then didn’t know how to be a real person. I’ve never felt like a real person — I’ve always been reading about how I’m supposed to be. It hasn’t worked.

      1. Well that was pretty bold, I don’t think I’ve ever been that bold. I’m really shy too. I think I’m a real person though and I’m pretty sure you’re real too, well at least you make me feel real…

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