“Meet me at Route 2 and Darby Lane by the blue mailbox. I can’t be with my family anymore. I’ll be there waiting for you. Please take me away with you.”
Sometimes at night I lie awake for hours beside my baby daughter, Ava, cupping her head in my hand. Maybe I am imagining, but sometimes I swear I can feel it: I can feel her dreaming. The sensation upon my fingers is less than a vibration but more than stillness. A something-in-between-nothing-and-something, vague but true. I imagine I can feel my daughter’s mind becoming.
In Manhattan, even at 5 a.m., it’s easy to find someone to talk to if you can’t sleep. There’s an entire network of actors, writers, bartenders, prostitutes and drug dealers hanging out in after-hours bars and clubs across the city, waiting for the transition from vodka and cocaine to orange juice, pancakes and eggs. Somewhere in East Village, guys with names like Edgardo and Leon sell coke to kids who snort it in unisex bathrooms. In a theatre in Times Square, hustlers called Cody and Shane rush into cabs and limos and back to bedrooms and hotel rooms for $150 private shows. At a bar on the Upper East Side, two women laugh loudly — or is the one adjusting her skirt a man?
Michael was standing beside me —- I was about 8, he was barely 4 —- with his elbows on the sill and his chin resting in his hands. We were looking into the dark from our bedroom window as the snow fell on Christmas Eve, leaving us both in awe. It was coming down so thick and fast that our neighborhood seemed beneath some heavenly pillow fight, each floating feather captured in the clear haze of one streetlight.