It was very late and the top of summer, and it was still over eighty degrees in the streets. The City was thrumming with the living and I was walking in it, block after block after block, because I missed that about New York, just the aimless walking, sometimes on streets cacophonous and kaleidoscopic that would suddenly plunge into side streets, muffled and silent as tombs. And it was on such a side street, with the City seemingly a world away, that I came upon some potted plants that appeared to me huddled together like prisoners – which is what they were – forming for one last time a sort of inner jungle within the outer before they would be dispersed, sold off like slaves to live out the rest of their sad lives in sad foyers all over Manhattan. I felt no less enthralled than if I had come upon a herd of deer in a forest glade. I was mesmerized. I felt their eyes on me. Their collective recognition, like the haunted gazes from holocaust pictures nailed me to a cross. The headlights of a nearby truck gave me all the illumination I needed to capture them with my camera and in that moment I imagined Wee Gee at the scene of a crime. New York stories. Bodies forever frozen in celluloid with death grimacing back at the voyeur leprechaun, not mockingly, but in collusion, a wink and a nod from the stage of this performance we call living, and that feeling drained from me, the feeling of life that the City seemed to impart and I could see it there, the gears and the springs of the clockwork mechanique that only moments ago held me buoyantly aloof as I threaded the capillaries of Chelsea afoot to the rhythm of the phantom heartbeat, step, step – step, step, with basketball echos and the ringing of chainlink fences and small dogs barking I moved back into the thrum of intermittent taxis and trash cans metallic and other spoors of other life also moving there in the dark.