I've wandered through the real world, and written myself through the darkness of the streets inside me. I see people walking through the city and wonder where they've been, and what the moments of their lives have done to them. If they're anything like me, their moments have held them up and shot them down. Sometimes I just survive. But sometimes I stand on the rooftop of my existence, arms stretched out, begging for more. That's when the stories show up in me. They find me all the time. They're made of underdogs and fighters. They're made of hunger and desire and trying to live decent. The only trouble is, I don't know which of those stories comes first. Maybe they all just merge into one. We'll see, I guess.I'll let you know when I decide.
They have never put it into words, they cannot; but each absence is a threat. They never felt this way in New York - they moved all over New York. Here each is afraid that one of the others will get into some terrible trouble before he is seen again, and before anyone can help him. It is the spirit of the people, the eyes which endlessly watch them, eyes which never meet their eyes. Something like lust, something like hatred, seems to hover in the air along the country roads, shifting like mist or steam, but always there, gripping the city streets like fog, making every corner a dangerous corner. They spend more of themselves, each day, than they can possibly afford, they are living beyond their means; they drop into bed each evening, exhausted, into an exhausting sleep. And no one can help them. The people who live here know how to do it - so it seems, anyway - but they cannot teach the secret. The secret can be learned only by watching, by emulating the models, by dangerous trial and possibly mortal error.
It was the day of the worms. That first almost-warm, after-the-rainy-night day in April, when you bolt from your house to find yourself in a world of worms. They were as numerous here in the East End as they had been in the West. The sidewalks, the streets. The very places where they didn't belong. Forlorn, marooned on concrete and asphalt, no place to burrow, April's orphans.