My Whole Expanse I Cannot See…

I formulate infinity stored deep inside of me…

Jul 18

The sort of city

Category: Life

New York is the sort of city where people seem to say whatever’s in their heads, it’s something I love. For example, I don’t walk, or sit up. I have a hose running from a machine connected to a hole in my throat. I mean, I dress nicely, I don’t drool or stare blankly into nothingness, but it’s definitely not common to see a fellow like me wandering about the streets of Manhattan. However, in Manhattan people’s reactions are abundant and rather extreme. I get, “holy shit, what the Hell is that?” I get, “oh my God, what happened?” A woman screams at us, “oh my God, he’s dying! why do you have him out like this?” A fellow says to me, “Jesus, I hope you live.” A fellow says to his friend, “no, man, that’s not real, it’s a doll.” I actually get the doll comment a lot, but it’s usually from drunk or high people. I guess in New York, I even look fake to sober folks. I think a lot of people think these things, but New York is the sort of city where people say whatever they want, to whoever they want, out loud. New York has no filters, no censors. Everything’s so “out there.” New York’s harsh, and friendly, and ugly, and gorgeous. There’s nothing fake about New York, it’s so totally alive.

New York’s the sort of city that says, “I could kick your city’s ass.”


16 Comments so far

  1. Annie Flanagan July 18th, 2009 9:33 am

    I love this, Michael! You are so right! People in NYC are survivors. And that’s even before 9/11. You gotta be tough to live there. You can be yelled at by your server in a restaurant, and it’s not out of meanness. It’s just the way it is. Everyone is so Alive there. And there is so much to do and see and experience aside from all those fascinating people. I’m happy that you are there. You belong!

  2. Jaelyn July 18th, 2009 9:56 am

    Great post Michael. Soak up that incredible city and carry it around with you as a reminder when you go back to Florida.

  3. Yaniris July 18th, 2009 11:39 am

    New York City don’t sleep. Is wild and crazy. I miss it!

  4. jen July 18th, 2009 2:11 pm

    I have never been to New York but dream of it someday..I once moved all my stuff to Chicago (Never even visited the place) so alive and extreme….fast and beautiful..cruel and vast….I miss it and it’s loud sense of humor…I live in a place now where people smile but have fangs instead of teeth…I place my coins under my mattress for my escape to Chicago again yes I know what you write of….

  5. Ziztur July 18th, 2009 3:33 pm

    Well you do seem to have perfect, china doll skin – I bed you make women jealous. 🙂

  6. Susie July 18th, 2009 3:44 pm

    What an adventure! I wonder what you’re doing now … If you could play a little music through your computer with your neuroswitch, imagine the $$$ you could make as a street musician!

  7. Susie July 18th, 2009 3:47 pm

    Or … as an on-the-fly on-the-scene poet! (okay, sorry, got too excited; I’ll stop now)

  8. jadelennox July 18th, 2009 8:51 pm

    But do they mention the tats? They should be all over the tattoos.

  9. Amy Segreti July 20th, 2009 5:37 pm

    It’s all in how a city breathes, and New York – New York doesn’t breathe. It heaves, it pants, it’s sexy and exhilarating and frustrating, like a slippery lover with gridlocked thighs that you can’t stop coming back to.

  10. shayna July 20th, 2009 9:38 pm

    i’m a new yorker — i saw you crossing 54th or 55th street down 5th avenue (by the MoMA) the other day, and i really regret not getting to tell you how much you kick ass

  11. Claudia July 20th, 2009 9:58 pm

    As someone about to leave Manhattan for a new adventure in London, I can say you have nailed one of NYers traits. We are unabashedly honest and do lack some filters. While you always know where you stand, we sometimes struggle to find a kind way to say what we really mean. Tenderness is not a trait we display in public.

    I’m glad you are enjoying your time in NYC and I hope to read about it shortly. Keep on keeping on.

  12. R man July 21st, 2009 8:59 pm

    Oh yeah! Kick my ass? No way dude!


  13. Ms. Nelson's Class July 24th, 2009 12:56 pm

    Hi, this is a summer school class in Portland, OR. We just finished watching your “This American Life.” We wanted to tell you that “we think you’re totally freakin’ awesome!” We are studying the personal essay and are impressed by your writing. THe whole class thinks you should write a book, We would definitely buy it!

  14. MLO July 25th, 2009 4:14 pm

    The title of your blog reminds me of this, in a good way:

    To see a world in a grain of sand,
    And a heaven in a wild flower,
    Hold infinity in the palm of your hand,
    And eternity in an hour.
    –William Blake “Auguries of Innocence”

    And the title image reminds me of some pictures I’ve taken recently (see web site link).

    Best wishes,


  15. Will July 25th, 2009 9:19 pm

    ” It heaves, it pants, it’s sexy and exhilarating and frustrating, like a slippery lover with gridlocked thighs that you can’t stop coming back to. ”

    Very nice. Could be said of many things. Hi M. The world’s still chugging with us along with it. Under Two grand in Saturday nights before we’re 65 or so, so, nice to hear you’re spending yours surrounded by experience, flavor, and bevy of opportunities.

  16. Erik July 26th, 2009 11:40 pm

    Hey, great post.. really interesting and well written.