If you push open the metal door that is the mouth of my apartment building, you will be surprised by its heft. You might have to put a little shoulder into it. Once outside you will find yourself standing atop a brand new cement sidewalk on Berry Street in Williamsburg Brooklyn. A rare thing, to be sure. Cracks are commonplace. New sidewalks? Not so much, as the Jewish woman who runs the local delicatessen would say.
If you happen to glance down at that new sidewalk, in a small corner, where the black wrought iron gate that guards my apartment building shakes hands with the asphalt, you will see the letters S+M scarring the cement. Near the silly yet romantic declaration of love you will notice the name Max some enterprising individual carved into the cement with a stick while the newborn sidewalk was still wet.
Continue across Berry Street and you’ll notice a blustery wind blowing in from the West, because that’s where the East River is flowing. Wind blowin'. River flowin'. Depending on the time of day, you may find yourself with the sun at your back or in your eyes. Let’s say it’s in your eyes. Nearing sunset. So you will walk, against the wind, the sun in your eyes. Count with me. 1, 2, 3…. Twenty steps, thirty, forty… one hundred. Halfway there now.
Excitement builds in your chest, a happy bubble of pleasure. Happens every time. Near the corner, your pace quickens as does the wind and your heartrate - And there it is… The Manhattan Skyline. Am I really here? you ask yourself. Yes. Yes you are. Beaten, bruised, and exhausted, maybe. but you are here.
And now I am leaving. But.
Years from now, when these precious Brooklyn days living among the best people I have ever known are just another chapter in the story of us, when dear Max is but a whisper in my head - that sidewalk will still tell the story of a guy a girl and a dog that moved to New York City once.
S+M and Max were here.