By most accounts, yesterday was one of those perfect NYC pre-summer, summer-like spectacles of weather perfection. And like most, I was not unmoved by its powerful suggestions of its-all-gonna-be-all-rightness. Yep, it was simply magnificent out there. The kind of day where you want to stroll around, feeling the sun on your face, while absorbing the positive vibes of an overpopulated community breathing a collective sigh of relief. The prior week or more of near constant gloominess had more than made up for a relatively tame winter season, and had done a good job of setting up the last two weekend days as the saviors of what I’m sure might have been many a suicidal guy or gal. While I wouldn’t count myself as one of them, I will say that the general dreariness that early May had bestowed upon this fair city was working my mood in the direction of near unbreakable case of the blahs.
But not yesterday, no sir. Even as I was aware that the city’s sidewalks would be clogged with other whistling dixies, I couldn’t wait to set forth on my own walkabout around Brooklyn. My suspicions were right–it was as if every city dweller had made a simultaneous break for it, sneaking out from various studio-sized prisons all around town to have a taste of what was outside. Unfazed, I soldiered on through the masses and found my thoughts turning to a fellow I had just recently come to know, H. H. Holmes. If you aren’t inclined to take the time to read about Dr. Holmes via my link, let me just sum it up for you: he was quite possibly America’s first serial killer, at the very least the first documented–and Boy Howdy, did he love a crowded fairgrounds for preying upon! Miles of souls, wandering about, heads so far up the asses of good times and hopeful dreams, whose guards were down due in large part to the spectacle that lay before them, The 1893 Chicago World’s Fair. A spectacle, both Holmes and the fair, retold supremely in Erik Larson’s The Devil in The White City, that I’m sure coaxed even the savviest Level Niners out into the open for a spell–not unlike yesterday’s siren song of summer.
Like too many times before it, I wasn’t worried for my own safety. I sort of operate under a rule of: if i am thinking about it, it can’t happen to me. But while I waltzed around to various places looking for the perfect, small, used outdoor table for my deck, my mind became increasingly preoccupied with the notion that amongst all these revelers–with guards down, many imbibing at a furious pace, and wearing grins that would only serve to silently enrage a man like Holmes–there was likely one or two gentleman performing an entirely different kind of dance. A Spider and the Fly type of thing, with a choreographed intensity that I believed I might be able to catch in the eyes of the lead if I were to put my efforts against it.
But even I couldn’t be bothered with such nonsense yesterday, at least as it pertained to the safety of others. Too much sunshine, too much good times, and perhaps an ice-coffee too many had left me uncharacteristically nonchalant about the whole possibility. And so perhaps this morning, I owe an apology to some poor soul who is just waking up for the first time since yesterday, chained to a wall in a dark cellar deep beneath the impenetrable concrete, brick, and asphalt paths our collective happy feet will use to skip to work this morning–still oozing with optimism. My oh my, what a wonderful day.