PYGMALION AT THE DELI
by Sandra Bark
This is the view from my bedroom window: an artisan tucked under the protective shield of a deli awning, coaxing a muse from white marble.
Angel drives a taxi. He walks down the street in a brown felt hat. He has a moustache and a swagger. When you call, he will pick you up at your door and take you anywhere you want to go. Otherwise, he sits at the corner, bent over his work as the cars and people pass by.
This is the Brooklyn that I live in, this mad mix of something special and nothing special, high and low, magnificent and mundane.
I have wished for a better view: majestic mountains, a blue ocean, a field full of wildflowers, instead of this slapdash slice of street. I have imagined softer sounds: the rush of water, the crash of waves, the murmur of crickets.
Instead, music pours in through the cracks around my window, holding me from sleep. Sometimes it is hip-hop escaping from the window of a car idling at the light; sometimes it is a band playing in the restaurant downstairs. One night, I leaned out my window and saw a wedding party celebrating, the dancers leading the band out onto the sidewalk, a full measure of revelry on the pavement.
I cannot see the sunset from my window and or hear the soft slap of the surf. But I still have this: a Turkish wedding dance with high-pitched ululations while I am in my pajamas. And Pygmalion at the deli, sitting on a milk crate, carving his dreams from stone.