Six years ago, I was living in a shotgun-style one-bedroom near the border-zone of Floral Park, Elmont and Stewart Manor (in the latter technically, at the garden apartments pictured in the "Me, Myself And I" element on this page; if you know, you know) and working an 8:30-5:30 in nearby Garden City. The commute was easy. Nothing else was. Anyway, one morning as I was leaving for work, on the way downstairs I heard a frantic commotion. It was the adult daughter of the old lady who lived beneath me, screaming in a panic, having found her mother in the throes of a stroke or seizure of some kind. Their door was open so I saw this happening. I ran in, called 9-1-1 and did what I could to help. Thankfully, the ambulance came quick and the old lady survived to spend some more time with her family. I lived in that building longer than I've lived anywhere other than my parents' house. Eventually, the old lady died. One day afterward, in her apartment, her family mourned her passing in song. It was one of the most beautiful sounds I've ever heard, the complete opposite of the fearful cries that had delayed my commute some months prior. Ry'lea's "Tilted Halo" had me thinking about this. I don't know why exactly, probably in part because I'm listening to it the day after attending a wake, but also maybe partly because it speaks to the kind of perfect imperfections that make the universe what it is and life worth living long.

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