Spleen et idéal
the wonder of that brief abyss of absolute reality between two bogus fulgurations of fabricated life
To be noticed, but not interrupted. It’s comforting to be seen in  our grief, there is a confirmation in it — however awkward it makes us  feel. Is that part of why we live here? New Yorkers do tend to be the  kind of people with both a need to be seen, and a deep fear of it.  Somehow, this place satisfies both.
When I first moved here, I loved to ride the elevated trains,  especially at night, when I could glimpse the thousands of glowing  windows, each an indication of a life or a cluster of lives, as rich and  difficult and sweet as my own. Glimpsing inside, seeing the moment when  the lights go on — or off — is a confirmation of our likenesses, our  common depths.