I look. Yes, nothing.
The city lights bleed out any stars in the night sky. I guess we like our stars uniform, rectangular, and 24/7. Our makeshift stars, trapped in their skyscraper cages have sisters, reflections, floating free and dancing on the water of the Hudson River below.
Without the roaring of headphones in my ears, the only sound is the uncomfortable and occasional splooshing sound of water lapping the pier. That and the pat, pat, pat of a jogger’s sneakers hitting the park pavement, quiet, to louder, to quiet again as he nears and passes. Everyone here is running from something. I’ve never seen water so opaque and unnaturally grey. Like the skyscrapers, it looks better from afar. The Statue of Liberty, too, glows an odd color at this time of night.
The water must be cold. Even grey water must be cold at night.
Wrapped in my husband’s oversized Northface coat, with my hands dug deep into the pockets and my headphones again roaring in my ears, I turn and begin walking home. God bless this city for making it socially acceptable to wander at 11:30 on a weeknight. Who isn’t wandering, anyhow?
The pedestrian foot bridge over West street is flooded with artificial light and cars still zoom by below. Somewhere in the world it is 8AM. I pause at the stop of the steps. The stars studding the new World Trade Center are a gradient of blue.
So this is home.