She wasn’t fooled…it’s not the city that never sleeps. It’s just a city where at least someone is always up. In reality it seems as though most people sleep days away, leaving nights for pitter-pattering. And that hardly counts as never sleeping, if you ask her.
The city does have a quiet place, however. In summer, as the sunlight first hints arrival from beyond the East River, that’s when you’ll find it…the quiet place. In winter, there’s no time to wait for the sun, but the hour remains the same.
An occasional errand or obligation makes her part of it. A secret club of New Yorkers start their days here. Nudging the city awake, some are still half asleep as they wash windows, bake delectables, and walk dogs of all sizes…all the while enjoying a little peace — because even one hour more and the real buzzing begins.
An outsider might witness this place and mistake it for full speed, or at least close to it. But locals know better — she knows better. The only one pausing to observe, she tiptoes on freshly rinsed sidewalks and breathes in morning air not yet polluted by cigarette smoke. A mere two or three customers await cups at Starbucks (soon enough the line will end out the door).
To her the streets are empty. She almost tingles with excitement at the rare scene surrounding her. No one else seems to recognize it. Perhaps they’re all used to it now. Not knowing any better, they start each day like the one before…with blinders on. Blinders that lead them to their destinations without bumping into, tripping on or even witnessing anything. It’s easy to forget the wonder of the mundane and the wonder of what surrounds us always. No two mornings are ever exactly the same in reality, but as memories, days blend together.
Maybe she’ll find this quiet place again someday. In the meantime, she’ll take her own blinders off.