Необычайно лиричный для Вуди фрагмент о Нью-Йорке)

So now back to Soon-Yi and me hiding reclusively in my penthouse. We stayed in to avoid the paparazzi surrounding the building, we took our nature walls in my large roof garden amidst the abundant, beautiful, overgrown foliage. My penthouse was what I had fantasized as a boy. From my afternoons in the darkened cinemas, where I stared at all those 35-millimeter gods and goddesses drop ice cubes into glasses of scotch and throw open the French doom to the terrace, revealing Manhattan. For years, I had been living in an apartment that could have been a film set high above Fifth Avenue. I put in large, nearly floor-to-ceiling glass windows, and my views of the city were truly stupendous. I saw fabulous sunsets and during electrical storms gigantic bolts of lightning sometimes stretching from the George Washington Bridge to the Battery. The loud thunder clap would be preceded by a majestic flash over Central Park West, over New Jersey, over eternity. Once I saw a bolt of lightning flash in the western sky and make a perfect circle, a huge letter O.

Once my building was hit by lightning, the railing on my terrace, to be exact. The whole building shook as lethal blocks of stone broke off the side and crashed down to Fifth Avenue. Only the intense downpour kept pedestrians from walking on the street and so no one was hit. The block was roped off for months after, while the building was repaired. Though the lightning hit twenty floors up, workers in the basement felt 93o Fifth rock.

Many a time after, as I sat at my all-metal Olympia portable and wrote during electrical storms, I was nervous a bolt would smash through the glass and strike my typewriter barbecuing me as I pounded out a puckish satire of contemporary mores. Snowstorms and blizzards were a different experience but equally awesome. To wake up on a winter morning and see every inch of Central Park blanketed in snow; the city, silent and empty. And maybe a red fire engine would race along against the perfect white. So much depends upon a red fire engine against the snow in Central Park beside the white chickens. Close. The same great buzz occurred when April happened and you could see the trees budding. At first ever so slightly, and the next day a bit more. Then a few more days and boom, green is everywhere and spring has come to Manhattan and in Central Park you see blossoms and petals unfolding and the air smells of nostalgia and you want to kill yourself. Why? Because it’s too beautiful to handle; the pineal gland secretes Unspeakable Melancholy Juice, and you don’t know where to put all those feelings that are stampeding inside and God forbid at that point your love life is not going too well. Get the revolver.

Fall is a different matter entirely but no less emotional. To me, it’s the loveliest time of the year. See, summer in New York is bad news. It’s hot, muggy, everyone’s away, and yes, you can move and with less traffic but it’s dull with all yourrofriends gone and everything kind of sticky and humid. Anyhow, comes fall and the town starts percolating. New Yorkers return from vacation, the weather cools off. When I was a kid in Brooklyn, the summers were a godsend became it meant no school and I could play ball all day and hit the movies. It was fun, but even then, fall meant all the cute girls were back from camp, and although the nightmare of books and classrooms loomed, at least there would be some sigmoid anatomy to hasten the blood. I never ever went to camp, bated the idea, and tried it just once for a day. Touted to be Shangri-La, I signed on as a junior counselor, rode the train upstate, sized up the situation immediately, and called my father to come get me. Always on the lookout for trouble, he got his pal Artie, a burly enforcer with a jake leg, and armed with guns they drove up to spring me from this sweet little Jewish summer camp. Needless to say, there was no shootout. Finally, when you looked out the window of my penthouse and saw those leaves change color it was both stunning and sobering. Stunning because the reds and yellows in nature outdid all the tubes of pigment no matter how inspiringly the painters combined them, and sobering because the leaves soon died and fell in typical Chekhovian fashion and you knew you would one day dry and drop; the same stupid, brute ritual would overtake all your own sweet little neutrinos and what was that about? On the other hand, it’s all perspective. To a human, the fall-colored leaves are gorgeous. To a red or yellow leaf, I can guarantee they find the green ones lovelier.

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