Just before sunset, when a squint can’t find its way onto the streets of Manhattan, is my favorite time of day to photograph people and neon. Last night, while I was in it, noticing glowing signs and traffic lights, best coffee, and NY Lottery, I saw a young woman crying on the street. Her hair was twisted into a pile of wisps off her face, and the tears were falling casually, like a sun shower. I heard her coax her dog across the intersection using a sweet voice one reserves for infants, the kind I hadn’t expected to hear from someone marred with tears. I surveyed her face for tears after hearing her happy voice; they were still falling. Sometimes she wiped them off; mostly she left them there. She looked beautiful.
I stopped walking and watched as she crossed the street, checking to see if perhaps she’d cry more, reveal a heave in her body. Had someone died, not called, broken her heart? Was it loss or rejection? She noticed I’d stopped, must have seen my watching her, and she decided to watch me back. Walking my dog, watching her walk hers, I wondered if she would wave. Instead she stood still, a reflection. I found a squint and stood in awe.
I felt loss and rejection at an intersection at my favorite time of day. I stood at the crossroad unsure of my next move, or hers. I worried for my future.