Oh, Bushwick! They call you East Williamsbug, but for what? You are Bushwick, my Bushwick, and will remain so forever in my heart. We began together some time ago, first at Kosciusko, then at Flushing-Broadway and finally upon the coveted L.
I still remember when your J train would rattle past my window and I’d catch my breath and sit very still, until the great lumbering mass had sped away. I played that it were dragon, and I the princess, cowering in my dusty tower while the beast gnashed through the forest.
I remember that below my window the old men would sit selling their curiosities—I’d always wonder who it was that needed a magnet in the shape of sushi—and they’d yell to me as I’d pass, “mornin’ snowflake!”
I’d take my coffee from the Greek diner and every morning the owner’s son would forget my order: “no milk two sugars?” “milk one sugar?” “no sugar milk?” Every day he’d try a different combination, not one of them correct.
Oh, Bushwick! I left you for a while, for a while to visit my home town on the other side of the globe, but my heart was always calling for you, always bleeding for you, always hankering to be back in your grimy womb. The relief that flooded me when I returned was unnatural; it felt like coming home even though, Bushwick, you’re not my home. Not really.
We told ourselves when I returned, “this is not forever”; we knew our reluctant time would eventually come to an end but we went on falling love anyway, Bushwick, and how sweet our romance has been. Now in the crusty rows of warehouse lofts and artists studios, I love you more than ever—but that (until now) nebulous foreboding is upon us, and I must leave you.
So now I say goodbye:
Goodbye Swallow café and your delicious ice coffee;
Goodbye, Brooklyn Natural and your over-priced delights (I’ll miss you, Apple sandwich);
Goodbye, The Narrows (see ya, Donny);
Goodbye, lady who sometimes poos on the stairs at the Morgan Avenue subway; Goodbye, man who stands across the subway platform smiling and masturbating (are you two a couple?);
Goodbye Robertas (I’ll be back don’t you worry);
Goodbye, gorgeous Gregory from upstairs;
Goodbye, neighbors and your terrible bands;
Goodbye, Lady Cave, the windowless bedroom;
Goodbye, silent night.
Oh, Bushwick! Goodbye!