The rowhouse containing my apartment is maybe ¾ of the way up the rump end of the terminal moraine. The moraine is the front lip of the divot that a giant ice sheet once made. The sheet scraped its way south during the Ice Age, pushing a little mound of soil and stone in front of it as progressed through Long Island. The crest that gives Park Slope and Bay Ridge and Crown Heights and Ridgewood their names, that affords the views that gives Sunset Park its name, that crest is the bottom of the Ice Age. I live on the back of the bottom of the Ice Age.
I can see the harbor from the front stoop of my apartment. In the winter when the entire world is made of concrete and ice, and the wind feels like chewing on foil, I can see this little slice of water. The inner harbor’s water is cold enough to kill me in five minutes, but the from the safety of my moraine it feels like a promise that the world will come back some day.
On that medium-distant blue lawn, I sometimes spot a fat orange caterpillar crawling. These are Staten Island Ferries, which I have decided are good luck. I have not followed through on the sabermetric work of assessing whether this good luck is real. I can’t follow through because that would require indexing and ranking the days of my life, which I am afraid to do for several reasons not least of which is that I am not sure I’ll like the answer.