Morningside park, down by the wide shadowy steps. Only yesterday were these steps the home of a wedding proposal followed by a shrill “yes” and hours later when the sky had become a dusty gray a midnight nurse from St. Luke’s was seen chasing down a man with a fire extinguisher. Now it’s the home of two young people, sitting on a concrete ledge, wrapped in their silences, one out of shame the other out of anger. A toddler linked hand in hand with this mother asks if they are statues, they don’t move an inch as he totters along.
She begins to cry and he grunts:
“You know you really frustrate me”
She stops crying, he must have become immune. A dog barks below them and suddenly he can’t stand the silence, he talks fast and louder with every word.
“You just let all these problems into our lives. It’s like you walk around with this dead weight magnet strapped around your neck, attracting chaos and mess and every time we work things out there’s about two seconds of peace and the world comes crashing down again and you know what…”
She tilts her head to the side.
“I think you enjoy it because life isn’t that hard, it can be pretty straightforward most of the time, not everyone messes up but YOU seem to go out of your way to make an absolute hell out of everything and everyone around you and what’s worse is that I think it’s the only way you know how to live, from disaster to disaster you’re one big fucking disaster”
“I’m just too tired. I don’t want to have to pick you up from some park or diner or an abandoned flat or worse a fucking police station. I just want to get on with my life”
“I said I was sorry”
His voice never decreased in sound, hers never grew harsh. In the same tone he continued.
“I just don’t know what to do any more”
Sudenly the weight of his words fall upon him, he realizes who he is talking to and even though he vowed that today was the last time he was going to help her, he feels that familiar rush of guilt. You can’t just leave someone like her; she’ll destroy herself.
He adjusts his voice.
“Look I’m sorry, I’m sorry I shouted at you”
“No you don’t have to”
She lowers herself off the ledge and turns towards him.
“I do. It’s just a shame that all the memories I have of us are only disasters to you. I guess we never really understood each other. Sorry I’ve been such a burden.”
And with that she walks out of the park , down the street. He follows soon after and the Morningside steps are empty for a while.