When an Old Friend Comes to Town
Just when winter feels like it may never end, and the city’s brightness has been dulled by a callous wind and an unfaithful sun,
a little burst of light appears.
An old friend comes to town.
She is a tiny ball of fire, all revved up by the city’s interminable pace, the same one that makes you feel so tired much of the time.
She finds it thrilling, wild, inspiring, popping and crackling with energy and life.
She sees the city the way you used to see it,
Before the sheen on the Big Apple faded from high gloss to semi-matte.
Her hotel is in Times Square, next door to the theater where some 22-year-old girl from Ohio’s dreams come true every night because she finally made the chorus in Chicago.
It’s only blocks away from the dirty hostel you stayed in during your first night in town almost 14 years ago,
Back when you had a lot in common with fresh-faced Ohio girls with dreams of making it in the big city.
You and your friend pace the streets until one in the morning, past ice skaters in Bryant Park and posh store windows on 5th Avenue.
And she is dazzled by the lights, the people, the buildings, and the smell of street vendors’ barely-burnt peanuts and cashews.
She tells you that she’s proud of you for moving here all those years ago; for saying you were going to do something and really doing it. And wow! she says. What an exciting place to live!
Sometimes it’s easy to forget the way everything sparkled at 22.
Until an old friend comes to town,
and you remember.