Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Guys and Dolls and New York at Night

So. Watched half of Guys and Dolls tonight and there was Marlon Brando, on a set that was perfectly suspended between reality and fantasy, making his observation that you can actually hear footsteps at night in Manhattan, the only time it is quiet enough to hear them. Now, for instance, with only a few cars passing by, it would be possible to hear the tread of the hungry acorn-deprived squirrel if it came back to haunt my window. I could hear a fir tree brushing the bricks if it was defenstrated by a cat trying to sharpen its claws. I could hear leathery wings flapping if vampires landed on my fire escape.

My dog is noisily licking the inside of her mouth for lingering flavors. With her vastly superior nose, even the littlest shred of dinner must deliver a bouquet of scent memories.

No ghouls, no fanged or bushy tailed creatures of the night, no Fosse inspired break dancers tapping and spinning on the pavement. The lights on Broadway go green, go red. An occasional person heads home from the bar or the all night shops. I can hear individual cars gear for the final incline over this hill which has enough colleges at the top to form a brick crown. Footsteps? Tires on damp tar. With a whoosh, heading north past me and my muzzy brain.

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