Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Bronx Musings

Today the Bronx is muggy and unpredictable.

There's no rain today, for the first time in what seems like forever, but it's cloudy. If you strain your neck just right you can make out some hints of a blue sky, but that's it. Just hints and nothing more.

When I pass the church on the corner of Belmont and E. 187th, a church that looks more like it belongs in Italy than the Bronx, a man comes out of one of the basement doors, carrying a bag full of trash.

I'm going to the grocery store to buy a box of candy. I am all out and I like having something to munch on while I write, and normal, solid food doesn't always sit in my stomach. This is the catch-22 of life with a digestive disorder. I'd like to buy some American cheese or a gallon of milk or a tin of nuts, but I can't.

I pick up some shrimp and some baked potato chips as well; I feel to awkward paying only for candy.

I'm on the shortest line, but the woman working the register is so slow she'd probably be fired at a larger store. It takes me longer to pay for my groceries than it did to pick them out; when I tell her she doesn't need to double bag my items, she does so, anyway.

On my way back, there's a woman going through the recycling bins in front of my apartment, taking whatever cans she can find--in NY you get a reimbursement when you take cans to the supermarket for recycling.

This is life in the Bronx.

Unpredictable, unforgiving, and still, it goes on.

There is the cacophony of English, Spanish, Italian, Albanian and who knows what else.

There are the eyes, always preening, always looking for that little extra bit of cleavage.

There's the smell of fresh baked bread, fresh from the ocean seafood and fresh meat from the butcher's shop, all meshing together, and nearly forcing you to duck into one of the nearby restaurants to satiate your appetite.

Sometimes I wonder how the Yankees, with their $2500 luxury seats and $210 million payroll belong here and not, say, overlooking Central Park.

And yet, as I write this, the sun starts to peak out from behind the clouds. For the first time since Saturday, there's something akin to natural daylight.

This borough will surprise me yet.