I end the day on the waterfront, watching the sun disappear not behind mountains but buildings. For purple mountain majesties… the New York redux. In the foreground are the projects east of the East Village and a power plant of some sort, both getting more dark and shadowy by the minute.
Water laps against yellow plastic buoys and a lone piece of wood that once was a part of a pier knocks against rocks littered with bottles, cans, and plastic cups like unnatural barnacles. I notice how Styrofoam does not decompose; they were right.
I’m not alone here at sunset, at least not technically; there is a woman and her dog, a man with a ragged beard and a Canon G10, and a group of people filming a rap video without a permit. I listen to the music loop while a woman with a deep tan and stripper boots gyrates to a peaceful setting sun and lyrics about Baby I’m Going to London and I’ll buy you a bag.
It’s imperfect, this scene. The garbage, the offensive lyrics about banging chicks, the sickening brown palate of the water. But it is mine, all mine. This city is about learning how to make the most out of your sick fascination with something you love and hate so deeply, so simultaneously, so psychotically that the fact the man behind you just asked his friend “Yo, man. Where’s my kilo?” adds to the charm of your life.
I look out over the water, now black, as the cityscape morphs quickly into a sparkling monolith against a faded purple sky, buildings chunky blue and burgundy daggers, helicopters taking off and landing, rocket jets leaving their white pigtails in the sky behind them like foggy stars.