Thursday, August 28, 2003

Night Running in Central Park

9:55pm at night, Central Park is still, languid even from the deflated heat of a summer day gone to darkness. I will remember always these solitary runs as moments of urban tranquility, almost alone in a city of millions with nothing but nature and trees to surround me. Up the hill towards 72nd Street east exit is always a line of horse carriages that tread an easy loop back around to the Plaza Hotel at 59th Street; the horses are reminder that the city is much cleaner and better scented (arguable?) than past century's New York, but I'm quite certain that the spirit of the city is the same.
This night on my run, Bebel Gilberto's silken Portuguese soothed through my headphones. The mood was smoky, and I could only close my eyes in succumbing to the feathery sense of V******'s lips to mine. I must admit distraction tonight among the trees - and not because Mars is closest to us this night as in 60,000 years (on the southeast horizon, an event I will miss while asleep in my bed). No, the park drifted into the "nostalgie" of Bebel's plaintive cooing, and I was no longer jogging, rather chasing the electric memory of beautiful V****** standing coyly at her apartment building's front stoop. Funny, I remember now talking with her of fat cats (literally, her cat was 20 pounds) and then those lips and smooth cheeks that I framed with my hands, kissing her for a moment to slip into a dream. So late, both times darkness, somehow Bebel's music flowed the nights together into one sensuous dance through the park, around Sheep's Meadow and past the lake with Calvert Vaux's fountain at its base of steps down to water's edge; the street lamps gilded my memory of the overlapping nights, bathing my reflections in soft shadows and leafy remains.
Remiss to let the moment end, I closed my eyes as I finished the bottom loop (once was enough this evening after earlier dinner burdened me with cramps and fatigue) to see beyond my memories for some residue of the enchanted moments. The images were all there, resident now with other memories from Paris, Milan, and San Francisco; my mind was alive with fresh memories and the celebration of moments worth relishing. Smiling softly, I slipped into the trees and out of Central Park back into the glorious city.
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