New Year’s Eve in New York City is like no other. The crowds are immense. The excitement is palpable. And everyone is waiting for the famous ball to drop! But something else I saw that night haunts my memories.
New Year’s Eve in New York City
It was my first time in New York since the pandemic. I was walking up 8th Avenue toward Times Square amid a wave of humanity. There were people as far as the eye could see.
I pushed on for a while, but then turned back. Covid has made me more than a bit sensitive to crowds! Suddenly, my eye caught a scene that will stay with me forever.
Shadows in the crowd
As I passed a small doorway, I saw three young people. They seemed oblivious of the crowds, and so too were the crowds of them.
One of the three was a small girl. In fact, she was as thin as a matchstick. She was hunched over. She looked about 8-years old, but her face was drawn and lined. It had the look of an old woman.
She was struggling to light something rolled between her lips. I realised it was crack cocaine.
Alas, this scene was a sideline in the mega-production that was New Year’s Eve in New York.
A boulevard of broken dreams
Writing this, my mind creates scenarios as to what led that small girl to end up living a ghetto-like existence on a boulevard of broken dreams in New York City.
Hers was a life that was there for all to see, if only people opened their eyes. I’m sure her life was filled with lots of trauma, heartache, rejection, and sheer loneliness. It all led her on that path to that doorway in New York City on New Year’s Eve.
I love the United States. My prayer is that it will look after its people better. I personally know of families who absolutely panic over healthcare; missed operations and medical treatment because the cost is so high and insurance so tenuous.
The US is so wealthy it surely could provide all the healthcare and counselling needed. And the wealthy would hardly notice the difference in the financial contribution they would need to make for it to happen.
I do know this is not just a problem with the US. However, the US has the idealism and the drive to make scenarios like the one I saw rarely ever happen.