The City was silent last night. But for the sound of salt trucks and snow plows, an unnatural, yet welcome silence blanketed the City. Yes, a blanket. Puffy, white piles of snow mounded on the sidewalks, cars, trees, fences.
But now we’re getting back to “normal,” that is, what is abnormal: the busyness of the City. I hear distant sirens; is it some poor ill soul or a vehicular accident?
Restarting trains and buses, the MTA’s progress seems to be a health report of the City. The transit system is its pulse, its heart, and its medical condition is revealed in the transit schedule. Right now, there are no buses on Broadway—at least none I can hear—and I usually can hear them.
The baby next door cries and quiets. A few children outside sparkle the air with their amusement. My husband, home from work, makes cooking and washing up noises from the kitchen. It is peaceful. An automobile drives by, its tires sounding slushy. Someone’s shovel scrapes the sidewalk.
This lassitude, this ease, this torpor, this languor, this lethargy, this tranquility, this calm—THIS is what it’s like to live “out of town,” i.e., NOT in New York City. Peacefulness. As much as I like the activity in the City, I miss the quiet of “town,” my type of normal, snowy day.
A snow day is rare. Rarer still is subway shutdown. Is the patient moribund? Or just having a heart transplant? I hope it’s the latter. NYC can do with a change of attitude. A storm can take her to her knees but won’t take her down all the way. She’ll rise again, a remade entity, and wait for the next challenge thrown her way.
We’re safe, we’re warm, we’re well-fed. We’re grateful and taken care of.