I walked home this evening from work from the far west side down to toward east river, easing by suitcases and strollers, catcallers and cardboarders, making my shoulders slight as I avoided elbows and bicycles and magazines and dress shoes, all of it coming at me in waves, crashing on the shore of 34th and 8th, slowly receding at 20th and 1st.
The sunlight spread wide over the city. The sidewalk cracks looked like they’d ache for shade if they could.
One by one passed the men in their rumpled dress shirts and matching chromatic slacks, their collared pin striped button down sleeves pushed up, their backs softly wrinkled and just near soaked from sweat, their left hand bound in a sweaty wristwatch, their right with a solitary grocery bag, or a briefcase, or a cell phone, their nails cut short and their patience cut shorter. They walked alone, a steady beat in their step, their eyes straight ahead, dress shoe step after dress shoe step, in a sober walk, a march in time with a silent dirge or an invisible procession.