Oasis of Life
At the corner of 17th Avenue and Broadway, a young man built an oasis into his condominium. The tall corner window stretches floor to ceiling and a red snapping turtle swims lazily, turning to watch puzzled passersby. I peek through the window and see wide fountains and housebound pools. Succulent plants stretch over stones gathered from creeks, bookcases, and a long-abandoned guitar. Life explodes in there, its momentum propelling it under the door frame and through the cracks in the caulking. It strikes neighbors and pedestrians with the urge to stand still and quietly overflow. Girls walk by, on cell phones and amphetamines. They stumble in their animated conversations, never sure what has shaken them.