There is a distinct aroma which pulsates through these blocks filled with mansions from another time and place. A cocktail of homemade cooking, trees and assorted flowers. A stray dog walks across the street, sounds of horse shoes hitting cobblestone, some whispers from people unseen and the sound of children playing somewhere in the distance.
Ghosts abound – couples walking hand in hand in their Sunday finest. Soldiers home for the weekend catch their girls jumping into their arms. While the curtain in the window upstairs is untied.
There was a reservoir once upon a time, right over there just across from the park. In the park a statue of Teddy Roosevelt stands upright and proud. Surrounding him are benches occupied by lovers – from the past and from today. An old man sits by himself, transistor radio, newspaper and pen in hand. He is listening to a baseball game from a long time ago.
A poet sits alone on the grass and begins to write a letter to a lover he has yet to love. I dream of you and I can taste you when I close my eyes. Your soft skin, your lips and the aroma that your body releases cures me, your wet skin intoxicates me and the sound of your voice as you surrender to my love is what saves me.
There was a full moon, clear dark blue sky with flashes of lights, shooting stars and time passing by. There was a lonely man in the window upstairs, I caught a glimpse of him just before the curtain fell. He wasn’t alone, there was a shadow behind him, a silhouette of a woman, perhaps his wife or lover? He seemed lonely nevertheless.
A young man walks alone, cigarette in his left hand, hat in his right. He has a satchel across his chest and he is coming home. Why does home seem so foreign? Why has nothing changed all the time he was in hell? Tommy, Ferreli, Grossman – all gone in front of his face. Exchanging jibes one second and blown to pieces the next. Why does this tree still stand? Why are there people laughing and going about their lives as if there is peace on earth? Where is the outrage? He turns around and heads back to the train station. He can’t go back home again.
There was a full moon, clouds were forming, white cotton balls against a dark blue sky. On the other side of town there is ranch house with a wrap around porch. On the porch there is a lady sitting on a chair waiting for something, someone to come on home. In the distance the young man stops walking, takes a deep breath and walks on. There were crickets, cicadas and an assortment of instruments being played. Whispers continued in the dark, voices from the past, lost like old photographs casting memories into the wind. One can hear them in the silence, through the tall grass and the cobblestoned streets – echoes through the mansions lost in time – the trees standing tall, roots strong, branches pointed towards the heavens.
Brooklyn, like a mistress, waiting for her paramour, lost in time. Like a man with nowhere to go, a road without end and a sky without a moon. The lady on the porch suddenly sees a form in motion heading in her direction. She smiles, stands and embraces him. Home. Some prayers do come true…in shades of colors we never could have guessed.