My apartment in Manhattan is 30 blocks from the GWB and you can see the span from my roof. I used to go up there in the early in the morning, around 6 AM just to close my eyes and feel the G-forces of the 40 thousand vehicles that pass over it into Manhattan at rush hour. My friend, the Argentine painter Daniela Mizrahi lived for years almost underneath the GWB in her little studio apartment which always smelled of paint, bread, smoke and car exhaust. The building, which clung like a bat to the black cliffs over the Hudson River, had a perfect view of the terrible and awesome Bridge, all lit up and roaring 24 hours a day.
I remember one particularly emotional night with Danu when we burnt some love letters on the pavement in the street. It was a necessary act, the act of destroying the component parts of a sadness. This is the kind of thing one needs friends to help with: Identify the formerly beloved object as poisonous and dispose of it.
The pages of the letters caught on fire quickly but then, not yet incinerated, were swept down the street by the wind and we ran after them yelling, trying to get them back so that we didn't set a building or car on fire by mistake. Slowly we captured the smoldering pages, ripped them up into smaller pieces and then burned them again (yes, some love letters take forever to burn, especially when written by depressing people.) The small orange embers were taken by the updrafts and swirled into the black sky, disappearing high into the great vacio beneath the GWB where they were extinguished in the nothingness. I thought, that is where love dies, in the darkness, under a bridge. I thought too that this neighborhood was too oversized for my diminutive friend, too cold and too lonely. That place was as lonely as a lost glove on a wet sidewalk, and I always felt afraid to leave her there.
|Photo by Karol Du Clos|
The suicide rate tells a depressing tale: "