"Blind Date, Brooklyn"

December Friday morning, snow cold. My redeye from Burbank to JFK to a taxi stops, at Morgan Avenue. A stranger approached. I get out. He takes my bag. He walks fast. I follow fast, in the dark. Down two blocks up four flights and then a heavy door closes behind us. It goes sswwwiiiiiisshhhh-clunk, as it drags across honey wood planks. We try to fall asleep, legs brains entangled. Hearts beat faster in a race with the sun, but we sleep anyway, a little. We wake up and eat lunch and the date is over. Maybe because he loves me, or else he knows he doesn’t. Hard to tell with strangers. He paints a giant canvas and I write small words. We visit the city but it’s cold wet and crowded. I don’t know how to ride the subway. Perhaps he has forgotten how it is, not to know. Christmas in New York is not romantic for two people who have not found each other. Snow keeps falling until all Bushwick looks like a clean new empty sketchbook page. Until all I see, looking out of his windows, are his past and my future. I offer the snowy stillness the leftover scraps of my fucked-up heart if it will clear a path from one to the other. It doesn’t. On Monday morning I wake up early and I’m naked under all my clothes. He brings coffee to keep us warm, but it doesn’t. It was or was not the storm that froze the space between us. When you call a car it will arrive in 5 minutes he says. I ask three times really are you sure? And he says three times, it only takes 5 minutes. I ask him to call early and he does. When I get in, I cry. The driver stops to buy tissues because, he says, he needs them anyway. In Los Angeles I thought winter was a season without end and now my winter is over but the stranger is not my spring and I don’t understand, yet. The stranger doesn’t see me cry doesn’t feel my thoughts but I wonder if his winter will end soon too. It does. But now he is already back upstairs, behind his heavy door. He doesn’t hear me tell Brooklyn, I will be back soon. Behind the door he is using a lot of paint, trying to make his thoughts empty, like the streets.

Contributor

Robin Grearson

ROBIN GREARSON is a writer based in Bushwick. This poem is included in the "Love Letter to Brooklyn" show currently up at King's County Bar in Bushwick. For more of her work, go to robingrearson.com.

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