After it rains, the city smells raw and new, like skin fresh from the shower. The absence of life is quickly replaced by its eagerness to begin again, a reminder of the first day of spring after a long northeast winter. We have survived the storm in the smallest sense and are quietly glad to see each other again.

If you want to know why I'm still here, it's because of them - these patterns of New Yorkers like tides on the pavement. They are familiar to me, almost predictable. If it ever feels the world has abandoned me or left me for dead, they never will. We are too close together, too dependent on our mutual survival to splinter. Nothing can stay broken here for long.

Not even a heart.