August 13, 2020 – from the other side of the graveyard that looks like a park

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I want you to know that the air got lighter when we drove out of Garden City toward Queens, where I wanted to feel like I could be at home—that I could make one—but never quite have. It’s too many people per tree and I when I feel alone on those streets I start to miss you more than usual.

 

I think about how you would’ve had to say what you wanted to make it in a place like that. The big and anonymous and closed in all at once. How you might’ve learned to but we can never know for sure. That you’re so bad at new situations but always found your stride with the challenging ones.

 

I asked Peter while we walked whether we were lost down in it. But he knew where all the cardinal directions were and that we were walking east because Queens Boulevard runs parallel. I only had to follow him. I'd written my own notes of names and addresses and a phone number, held tight in my hands because we were looking for a new apartment in Sunnyside and we saw three that night.

 

What we can afford are inside those giant elevator buildings though, which is where you’d put me to snuff me out. The only reason I’m not already is for the few people who reflect me back, having not looked in my own mirror for six months now. Not knowing where I’ll go next. Not knowing where my mother and father are in the state of Kentucky, in relation to one another, or for the sake of their two children trying their best not to fizz out.

 

You know this already: How you landed me here in an astronaut helmet and now home only feels like where the air can get in. Except I know how to measure its pressure now. I know how to tell a pushy real estate agent no (that the apartment felt again like trying). We don’t have to settle. We don’t have to decide now. I can cry on the way back.

 

Peter and I start walking in opposite directions so we can meet each other in the middle again, where he tells me what the worst thing wouldn’t be and I tell him there wasn’t any sky from the best apartment we saw. He says he couldn’t look out and see people because though the windows there were long and many, they only looked upon more brick.

(this is the very first stop)