There’s something oddly comforting about being alone in the darkness. It’s more like a feeling of serenity, when the rest of the world is still asleep.
8.5 million people and I am alone on the street in the early hours of a Sunday morning. For a city that never sleeps, New York is eerily quiet on this morning.
There are no sirens wailing in my ears.
There are no honking cars.
And the car wash down the street isn’t open yet. No men rushing around washing tires. No water running off the sidewalk and onto the street.
The bagel place on my way to the train station still reads “closed” and the lights are off, the building dark.
I can hear everything better this way, though. The crisp morning air whooshing around, the streetlights clicking to a new color, and the trains rumbling on the tracks above me, all sounds so much louder.
There’s also something nice about having the streets all to myself. I don’t have to move over for someone passing, or watch out for dogs or children running down the sidewalk. And I don’t really have to pay attention to the “walk” symbol because there are no cars on the streets either.
I can feel things better too. I feel my lungs filling with air, pumping my body as I walk purposefully. I feel my feet hitting the crumbling sidewalk with every step forward.
And I feel my own heart beating, reminding me I am alive.