New York City fascinates me…for all the obvious reasons…the flash and theater and amazing eateries and Wall Street and Central Park and Prospect Park and Bryant Park and coffee shops…oh…the coffee shops…
But more than all that and the other thousand things I could list, I am fascinated with the life underground.
I am fascinated that the subway stations are such a part of the fabric of the streetscape that sometimes they are hard to see. I’m fascinated that people, young and old, fat and skinny, employed and homeless, move at a (relative) uniform (fast) pace and don’t see 20 stairs as a barrier to use (unlike much of the rest of the US). I’m fascinated that no one ever seems to glance at a schedule, or look at a map, but they get everywhere they are going. I’m fascinated that people bring their groceries on the subway, go to prom on the subway, go to work and school and dates and doctor’s appointments and meetings with their architects and, now that I know what I know, meetings with their whores. On the subway.
I’m fascinated that there is a whole life underneath the ground. A life that includes shops and restaurants and advertising and crime and cops and rats and music and people. There is New York City on top, in the light. And New York City underneath, in the dark. And they are both filled with drama and death and life. The underneath knows about what’s above, but all of what’s above doesn’t know about underneath.
My life had an underneath too.
There was a little bit of underneath that I knew about, but lots that I didn’t. It knew…my underneath knew what was above and outside, but only let little snippets of itself be known. Until it had to.
My marriage had an underneath too.
There was almost nothing of the underneath in my marriage that I knew about…except little snippets that HUSBAND shared…little little snippets…until a big snippet came out and all the other snippets eventually appeared from underneath.
I’m not willing to live with any underneaths in my personhood or personal life anymore. Truth is, they all are one anyway, they just like to keep the lines of demarcation and pretend they each have their own territory in my soul. But they were at war, battling…the underneath and the above.
They were at war. And I won.