Manhattan: Bitter End

manhattan The bartender locks the door and offers us one last drink. I am talking to an older woman and Margaret is talking to a man further down the bar. The woman I’m talking to tells me an epic tale of misfortune. Her man left her and she lost her apartment. She has been living with a group of squatters in an abandoned building in Harlem but the building just burned down. She isn’t sure where she will be living now. She goes up to the juke box and plays U2’s “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For.”

I walk in out of the rain. This is not where I’m meant to be. I watch the man and woman at the bar. I sip my beer. I look over my shoulder to confirm that the rain continues relentlessly. I decide to take refuge with Peggy Guggenheim, not with Janis Joplin.

We get back to our hotel in the wee hours of the morning. I wait until Margaret is safely in bed, then I leave to wander the uptown streets, looking for a way to let it go.