At night in the new apartment, after the sun has broken down on the moon and this part of the city only hums, I can hear the planes. The rent is cheap, and now I’m figuring out why. They keep me up at inconvenient hours, these red-eye flights to unknown corners of the country. Sometimes I’ll invent the city of final destination in my head to fool myself to sleep. Sleep, where I dream of the planes, of a line of 747s taxiing down Flatbush Avenue, waiting for pedestrians to cross. They’ve started showing up in all of my paintings, too, silver wings in the pale-blue skies of landscapes and in the reflections of eyes.
I ask Imelda, my Filipino neighbor in 4E, if the planes keep her awake too, and she says she hasn’t noticed them once in the two years she’s lived here. Imelda is a violinist for an orchestra in the city, and I have to wonder if her hearing is going; if too many nights in the pit have started to take their toll.
“They’re loud,” I tell her. “Really loud. Listen for them tonight.”
The next morning, I find a note from Imelda… Read more »