When I moved to New York fifteen years ago,
I promised myself that when the time came to leave,
I’d bike the perimeter of Manhattan.
And so I have. And so we did.
Passing all our places of work, of communion, and love.
That spot there, and that place there, and oh God, remember, that corner there?
A simple ride was always the goal.
Even after a bike nearly broke me whole.
Of course the allegory could never be surpassed.
Sure enough, the ride matched my fifteen years at last.
There were detours and dead ends.
Short cuts and puked guts.
Manholes and sham tolls.
Bumpy roads and heavy loads.
In one way or another.
I accomplished everything I set out to do.
A fifteen year sublease.
Ends with inner peace.
We biked the perimeter of Manhattan.
Passing all the little communities
the brothers and mothers
dreamers and schemers
vagrants and vagabonds
yuppies and puppies
the overpriced flats and the oversized rats.
Everything’s so big here.
Every dream. Every crowd.
So large and so loud.
It’ll be the things soft and small
That’ll stay with me after all.
What a moving piece of writing. Knowing when to leave is an important life skill. Beautifully done!