In this city and no other, the lost souls converge to celebrate. None can say what they’ll be celebrating, as a form of expression for the deceased seems unnecessary. We do it with funerals, but nothing for when the deceased are long-since passed and nothing for which the living are not allowed to get involved. This is a ‘dance for the dead’. The lost souls that clog the entryways between vast, unfathomable universes flood our great city. You can’t hear them over the sounds of the train or the stupid mechanics who test their engines all night down the road from my house, but the lost souls find us. They come to this city to celebrate, if not for being alive, then for being.
One thing you witness is what significance they apply to our fair city. We don’t see it so often, with so many abandoned buildings, infrastructure falling apart or little effort that gets directed towards our city. The souls find us in good company. They come to this place, because it’s the ‘way-station’. It’s neither a good city nor a bad. They call it ‘the greyest little city in the world’. They point us to all the grey buildings across the river, as well as the plaza with its vast pool surrounded by grey marble. I’ve lived here all my life and can tell you it IS the greyest little city in the world. They say that Albany is the grey and Rensselaer is its shadow. There’s a fair amount of truth to that. I don’t know what it means to be in the shadow of Albany, although I assume it offers those lost journeyman a place to exist without exorbitant rent or indiscriminate neighbors who leave their televisions on full blast all damn night.
The lost souls come to us, because we are the way-station, which is neither good nor bad. They can come and rejoice in their decadent mortification without the worry of onlookers studying, photographing, preserving any moment that might ruin their fun. We’re not here for that. We’re here to experience for as long as we can, before we’re allowed to move on to that ‘hopeful eternity in the sky’. We’re the American dream. Give us your tired and poor and we’ll let them celebrate with the dead who come to dance into eternity. It is for this and nothing else that we pray.