After these things I looked, and behold, a door standing open in heaven. And the first voice which I heard was like a trumpet speaking with me, saying,"Come up here, and I will show you things that must take place after this".
The train screeches and rocks north through Harlem and into the Bronx. Most of it's passengers have their eyes closed, and I cannot be sure whether their day is just beginning or coming to an end. Three friends talk together, two young men and a young woman. One of the men reclines with his head in her lap. Her face is serious, tough, not angry - not someone to mess with. I'm not sure how far to go, so I pick a stop - Yankee Stadium in the South Bronx - disembark and climb the stairs into the early morning light. There are a few people in motion, and my presence on the sidewalk provokes a double take or two. I walk along a street beneath one of the high walls of Yankee Stadium, like a prison or a fortress, revealing nothing of the world within. Ten or twelve people come out of a small door in the wall marked Housekeeping Entrance. They smile, say goodbyes, and move off alone or in pairs. What a dizzying job that must be cleaning up after 52,000 baseball fans.
I'm not sure which way to walk, there's no plan, but I do have a map. So I consult it and see that I am not very far at all from The Grand Concourse. Well, this sounds pretty grand to me, and I could use some breakfast, so I move in that direction. A black man is walking toward me holding the hand of a small boy, his son, I expect. The man looks at me with something like suspicion, and I smile tightly trying to signify that I'm not crazy, cop, or criminal and say, "hi". He says, "good morning" with something like civility, formality, and I can't help but think he is consciously teaching his boy something. I try to act like this is not tense, but it is, and I can't seem to walk naturally. I continue through a neighborhood, it's very quiet and there are lots of tags on the walls and trash in the street. Someone walks a dog. I write for a few minutes on a bench. I think about litter, what's behind it, why we do it. I'm anxious about it - the mess, the carelessness, on a larger scale - and I think it would be noble and perfect to be someone who picks up the trash in the early morning.
The Grand Concourse, I find it and make use of a comfort station in a park. There's a Bronx Walk of Fame here, and I look up to see the names of Hal Linden and Afrika Bambaataa together on the same lightpole. I don't know which way to walk. A few minutes ago, a young woman in a car parked outside a bodega said, "look, it's snowing!" It took me a few steps to realize that I was the snowflake to which she referred.
I saw a subway stop and thought maybe it was time to try my luck on Staten Island.