Monday, July 27, 2009

Central Park Transformed

I live only a block away from paradise. Only a block away from my sanctuary.
I try and come here every day to admire God’s creations. The different kinds of trees, tall and short, the trimmed yet wild grass, the massive bodies of water, and most of all, the people. People of all walks of life come here. They, like me, are looking for salvation, some sanity in this mad city of New York. A man tries to fish unsuccessfully, a tourist stops to strike a pose, a native peacefully reads a book on a bench and an adventurous dog skips on, treating a squirrel like dinner. People are at their best, enjoying the sun, and the green leaves melted together with wildlife. I look around me, taking it all in and notice the trees trying to hide the tall buildings on the outskirts, but nothing gets in the way of overpriced real estate.

We arrive late afternoon in a group. I try to shake off an eerie feeling; I sense the madness resides here in my sanctuary. Teens jump up and down to the electronic beats, adults sway to the strobe lights and the stage is filled with life. If God was a DJ, this would be his favorite place to perform. Out in the open air people are determined to keep jumping. They drink beers in plastic cups and puff on cigarettes, nodding their heads in agreement with the beat. They solicit others for magic medicine, trying to seek comfort in an understanding face. They unfold the white paper and press it to their tongues, all the while trying to be unseen though they can’t even concentrate long enough to contemplate getting caught. The drugs are what fuel them on, causing their hearts to race and pupils to dilate into a stork-like stare.
The crowd jumps, all at once, lifted by the constant ups and downs of the machine generated umps. Bzzz,bzzz,ump,ump,ump, the DJ continues…The music takes the path of a volatile stock, taking the people with it. Up and down, down and back up. This is where nature and technology meet. Though this place is a product of man, it has long been controlled by God. The music, on the other hand, is all human synthesized. The craziness is present and is thick as the hot August air. I try and focus on people but they won’t stand still long enough for my eyes. The adrenaline from the audience starts rubbing off and I reluctantly give in to it, jumping up and down. I embrace the tunes trying to make them familiar until I am brought down by an ending song.

The sun begins to set and darkness becomes the park. The crowd is ecstatic as the massive LCD screens on stage come to life. They try and match colors to music, shapes to sounds. “Woohooo, wooohoooo”, they chant, louder and louder. I am swept up in the excitement, happily chanting along. I feel euphoric, almost high and jump higher. Though I have never seen Central Park in the dark, I feel secure. A sense of togetherness wraps around me, sealing in the atmosphere. This is truly a unique experience, one I will cherish forever. It’s not every day you get to see the acclaimed DJ Paul Van Dyk perform in Central Park, New York City.

Sarah Scissorhands

“Ok honey, all set, now my hairs are just waiting to be chopped off”, he called out from the kitchen. His voice was as annoying as a baby squealing two minutes after you’ve put him down. Be calm, she thought to herself. I can give the jerk a haircut without poking his eye out or accidentally scarring his eyebrow forever. She took a moment to collect herself, looking in the mirror as if to verify her anger and hurt weren’t plastered on her forehead. “In a minute dear, I’m just looking for the sharper pair”. Rummaging through the bathroom drawers and pushing things around she noticed the shiny pair of scissors she had been scared to use on David until now. She yanked them out and marched down the hallway towards the kitchen.
“Oh wow, you sure those are safe?” Of course they are you moron. “Yes honey I’ve used them on you before you just don’t remember”. “I’m sure you’re right I never remember anything”, he said.
Sarah started snipping away at his head, starting from the back and working her way up to the front. Her hands stroked his hair with care and affection that had developed over the past three years. She reminisced over their first meeting at a friend’s home, sitting across each other at a Shabbat dinner. He seemed nice, but definitely too nerdy to be her type. Now she was about to lose him to someone else. Someone she knew nothing about. If I do this, I will just be proving him right, proving there is a reason for him to look elsewhere than his stay-at-home wacko wife. She continued contemplating whether to injure him, even just a bit in order to make him pay. Snip, snippety, snip. “Honey those scissors seem awfully sharp”, he said as she abruptly jerked his head to the other direction. “Don’t worry David I know what I’m doing”. Well, she thought, he is being super annoying; maybe he deserves a little scratch inflicted by yours truly.
“Ouch!” he cried. “Sarah! I’m bleeding; you cut me with those damned scissors.” Oh my god, what have I done! She took two steps back and stared at the wound on the left side of his neck. Blood started gushing out of it like a chocolate fountain at a wedding. There was so much blood everywhere she looked. She yanked up a glob of paper towels from the kitchen counter and tried to make it stop. Stop! Please stop! Oh no, what have I done! “Sarah, take me to the hospital now, we have no time for you to try playing doctor”. She froze, her feet digging in to the marble floors beneath her. The world swirled around her like a hurricane. Her legs felt faint, her arms heavy and her head thick. Down she went.
David picked up the banana shaped telephone Sarah had so carefully picked out on their wedding registry. “This will be perfect for our new kitchen David”. He agreed to the stupid looking bright yellow phone only to appease her, as he had agreed to several things since then. “911? There’s been an accident, my wife and I are both hurt, please send an ambulance stat”. He dropped the phone as his knees began to shake. I must be losing lots of blood, I better sit, he thought. He fell smack on the cold marble floors of their new and remodeled contemporary California kitchen.
The cops kicked the beautifully carved wooden door down after no one answered their rigorous knocks. They stormed into the house and heard a baby’s cry from the nursery. Ethan had been rudely awakened by their forceful entry. They would deal with him later. They scrambled towards the center of the house where the kitchen was situated. Sarah always wanted it to be the center of their home, where everyone would be gathered for most of the day.
Sarah lay sprawled on the floor like a dead scarecrow, her legs spread and eyes closed. Her preppy navy cardigan and top set was wrinkled and full of sticky blond David hairs. Her pearl necklace lay out of form and her shoes seemed less trendy in this position. David, on the other hand, looked peaceful though surrounded by stains of blood on both sides of him. His button down shirt frazzled and out of his slacks and his moccasins slipping off. His belt was open though not yet removed from his pants and it suited his usual sloppy demeanor. He did have a great haircut though; she had managed to give him a really nice haircut before jabbing the scissors into his neck. Sarah fainted when she realized what she’d done. She was in a deep sleep now, far away from suffering the repercussions of her actions. Those shiny stainless steel scissors stuck out from her waistline where she had neatly tucked them before. “Wa, Waaaaaaa”, Ethan cried out from the baby-blue nursery decorated with airplanes and butterflies. One of the lady cops ran towards his cry, trying to think of how she would comfort him when he was old enough to realize what had happened to his folks.