A gasping Puerto Rican women in her late fifties gasps and blesses herself as the subway rumbles through station after station heading towards the upper east side. Her oxygen cable becomes tangled and she struggles with desperate fingers to loosen it as blank faces turn the opposite direction. She blesses herself frantically again as the train surges forward and she staggers falling into my arms and looks at me with tears rolling down her cheeks and then looks away knowing death is near.
This is NYC, a city where people once could dream and achieve life goals and now they lose their job, lose their apartment and sometimes their lives. This is just one of many incidents that have occurred in the last week that common New Yorkers ignore and seem both conditioned and indifferent too. At what point in you life will you see someone dying and not show compassion. When your life has hit rock bottom you don’t care and that is the unfortunate reality of 21st century America. A software engineer with a University Masters fills my salad bowl in a deli speaking sadly of his sixty thousand dollar a year job in the Empire State building he had this time twelve months ago only to be axed along with many others in an economic slump that leaves the majority in jobs they hate, with people they loath and returning home to a family they can’t cope with.
The American Dream seems to be fading as a Dominican college student stands forlornly outside F.A.O Schwarz telling me of how she dreamed her degree would be of use only to be left taking pictures of people who disregard her in a subtle racial fashion. Heart Attacks, Blood pressure and the focus of money, money, money to afford to live a life you think will make you happy but doesn’t is a damn bleak existence and i don’t blame New Yorkers for being disgruntled and cranky as their lives are so full of bleak realities that they can’t possibly be radiantly positive.