Hoping to further cultivate my melancholia, I go for a walk in the rain at Brooklyn’s Green-Wood Cemetery. To be honest, few things cheer me more than walking past people who, however celebrated and happy and full their lives might have been, are now dead.
And I’m not.
There is peace here, away from the manic energy of the surrounding city, but rather less permanence for the 600,000 residents. Angels grace many of the graves, but their features are slowly melting in the toxic mist. Site of the Revolutionary War’s Battle of Brooklyn and home to legions of Civil War dead, many of the names are all but lost.
A bust of Elias Howe, Jr., looking quite pleased with himself, lords it over a corner of the cemetery’s rolling and verdant hills. Beloved father and husband, brave in battle and successful in business (he invented the sewing machine), he passed at the tender age of 48 years, 2 months and 24 days. After a fair bit of mental gymnastics, I realized that though I have thus far achieved exactly none of those things, I have managed to outlast him by three solid weeks. And counting.