At precisely 7 PM every night in New York City, people lean out their windows and make a holy and uproarious noise. They clap, cheer, holler and whoop. They bang on bowls, pots, pans and everything in sight. They are saluting and thanking our heroes. Every orderly, aide, nurse and doctor in all our five boroughs. It’s like clockwork. Comes from Italy, I think.
Now I don’t do that. Not my style. Instead, I bow. On the street whenever someone wearing scrubs walks past. Most acknowledge it. When I do it, if you believe as I do, I am bowing with everyone on York Avenue, the Upper East Side, Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn and the boogie down Bronx. Yes sir. But also, the entire USA. Maybe the world?
I am a bit of a loner. More of a one to one guy. I don’t do the wave at ballgames or sing “New York, New York” after. And rock shows, even in my 20s, seem vaguely fascistic to me. One guy on stage raises his hand in the air and thousands obey (“We will rock you.” Fuck you. You know, sometimes a crowd can rock a band).
Anyway, last night I was reading Marx when I heard the noise. With no thought, I grabbed my inkin (small Japanese bell used for meditation) and ran to the window. I began hitting that delicate little fucker like a madman with a cowbell. And you know what? It made a clear, almost piercing and reverberate sound. Hard to describe, but it seemed to cut through the din. I wonder if one of the heroes heard it.