Thanks, Darren Stehle. I wanted to anchor the experience in the senses, to make it as much about feeling as thinking.
I never write in second person. This piece is very unusual for me in that respect. Also unusual is that it poured into my head one day as I was out riding my bike on the Riverwalk in Detroit.
I had to go rush home so I could write it down before I forgot it.
I wrote it longhand, then put it aside and forgot about it for a while. Months later, I went back and deliberately added in specific images that reinforced the symbolism I wanted to emphasize.
Over a period of weeks, I worked on the rhythm, reading it aloud until I’d find better words or better ways to arrange sentences.
I finally considered it finished about six months after I wrote it.
The images are anchored in a very New York City experience. I was thinking about a small apartment in an elegant brownstone on the west side near Central Park.
It’s not necessary to know that to appreciate the imagery, I don’t think, but making the setting concrete helped me ground the story in reality even as I brought in details from other experiences in other places.