To Her, With Love

Actress Melanie Griffith checked into a California drug treatment center for an addiction to prescription pain medication on Nov. 9. Shortly after, the message boards on her New Agey e-commerce site, OneWorldLive.com, were flooded with get-well wishes. Here are excerpts from a few:

Hi Melanie,

I was saddened to read the news about your health setback in the newspaper today. You have really touched my life with your charm and your courage, so I must admit that I was deeply concerned. I nearly left work in the middle of the day, but I fought my way through it ….

Bob A.

Melanie:

What pain medication were you addicted to? My husband is trying to get off of Ultram that was prescribed as a non-addictive pain med. NOT! …

Best wishes, C.

Dearest Melanie,

I accidently found your site, and now know it was not by accident …. I am so sorry to hear about your constant discomfort. It was by grace that I finally found relief with alternative magnets. I now wear a beautiful gold necklace that relieves my discomfort ….

Sue M.

Dear Melanie,

… I often times like to read when things in my life are chaotic. I just recently had a friend recommend a book to me, why, because she said the main character just had to be modeled after your husband Antonio. Well, sure enough, I read the book, and I could definitely see him in the character …. The book is called Laffite’s Lady by Susan Elliston and is available from Amazon.com. Let me know if you see a little of your husband in the gentleman pirate Jean Lafitte.

All the best, Drena

Dear Melanie:

HANG IN THERE WE ARE 100% IN YOUR CORNER YOU WILL COME OUT OF THIS ORDEAL WISER AND STRONGER. YOUR HONESTY IS ADMIRABLE AND I AM SURE IT WASN’T EASY GOING IN FRONT OF THE WORLD LETTING THEM KNOW! !!! I KNOW IT CANNOT BE EASY LIVING IN A FISHBOWL!!! YOU ARE TOTALLY AWESOME BECAUSE YOU HAVE THE RIGHT IDEA ABOUT GIVING SOMETHING BACK TO THE WORLD … PLEASE POST THIS MESSAGE THIS IS MY THIRD TIME AND IT HAS NOT POSTED !!!…

LOVE AND GOD BLESS YOU,

Nicole

Melanie,

You are so brave …. The important thing is to have beautiful supportive people around you. That is one thing that I did not have when I went through a similarly painful time of my life. For a while my friends (well, I thought they were my friends) and I would go to [ name withheld ]’s place on Wednesdays and Fridays. We would drink and snort coke and the next thing that I know it’s Thursday but Thursday is Wednesday and Wednesday is Friday and Friday is optional Thursday. It got really confusing and really hard, and well, my friends pushed me to do this regularly and I was blacking out and biting guys ears … and when I drank I became gay and then hubblenobble tobblewarble started to make sense….

Love, Sean

Dear Melanie,

I am praying to the goddesses for you …. I’m older than you but feel a common thread as I have been told that I sound exactly like you and even resemble you in appearance and mannerisms (not as beautiful, though!) I also married a wonderful latin man. I was always teased about my voice but your wonderful presence on camera and charisma have now made me realize that I wouldn’t trade this voice for anything!…

Wishing you the best, Laura

Dear Melanie,

I know that the recipe for Antonio’s paella has been posted somewhere on your site. I can’t find it. Is it possible for you Melanie to post it again as I would like to make it the real Spaniard way.

Many thanks and hugs, MS

-Andrew Goldman

Why We Ride

Sometimes, when I begin to lose my humor to honking cars and squawking people, I repair underground to the front window of a New York City subway car, where I stare down the miles of endless track and dark tunnels and platforms full of people for hours on end.

I’m not the only one.

Who can fail to be seduced by the solitude of the dark, the transcendental hum of subway noise, and the momentary celebrity of being the first person seen by the people on the platform as you barrel into the station?

Irving Page of Brooklyn was riding Queens-bound on the G train, staring out from behind the front window.

Why does he ride there? “I really look to see how much work they did to build the subway,” Mr. Page said. “Every time I go on the train, I look at the beams-the structure of the beams, how they’re set. Can you imagine all the work they did? I look at the all the tunnels. I look at the construction. I’d rather be here and watching this than sitting down.”

O empty G train, you ride beneath canals sacred to the gods. Where are you going? Do you even know yourself?

Jerome McCarty stood at the front window of the No. 7 train from Queens as he traveled to pick up his wife.

“I like the outside better, because you can see some of the city and you get a better idea of where you’re going,” Mr. McCarty said. “In the tunnel, you can’t see anything. It’s dark. I look at the track work-what’s gone bad and what needs updating. And when I see something’s gone bad, I call up the M.T.A. Mainly it’s fun. Looking. Watching. The system is pretty good. The only thing is that I worry about is if the ties are rotten.”

Red No. 7 train, you carry the peoples of many nations and disparate ethnicities. Diverse No. 7 train, who can know your mystery?

Michael Stoll was standing at the front window as he traveled uptown on the F train. He wore gray sweat pants and a gray sweat shirt. He was listening to a Walkman.

“It’s very fulfilling, because you see something that you never get a chance to see,” he said. “There are miles and miles of tracks and tunnels. You can go all over the city from down here. You could walk uptown to downtown underground. There are escape doors all over the place that go up to the street. So I think about that. I wouldn’t walk down here because of the rats, but who knows what you would find? If they could clean it up and stop the trains, I would love to walk around down here.”

F train, you are slow and beset by many delays. You journey far beneath Sixth Avenue, the forgotten avenue.

Some riders are technicians, like Mr. Page and Mr. McCarty. They’re concerned with the nuts and bolts of the subway. There’s also room at the front window for couples, the riders d’amour . A guy will be with his girl and they’ll walk up to the window together. He’ll have one arm around her and he’ll point things out with the other one, as if he’s saying, “Baby, let me show you my city.”

Then there are the pretenders, the fellows who think they’re actually driving the trains. Sometimes they’re kids, but many times they’re adults. Occasionally a pretender will stop believing and actually take over a train, but most of the time he or she just stares out the window pretending that the door handle makes the train go and the screws in the door handle open the doors and the keyhole is the horn.

I’ve heard people on the platforms taking pot shots at the front-window riders. But are we any different from the artist staring out to sea or the philosopher looking up at the night sky? Can’t heaven just as easily be found below the ground as above it?

Pretty soon we riders will be obsolete. The M.T.A. is seeing to that. On the new M.T.A. cars, the driver’s cabin extends the width of car, making it impossible to see out.

When I saw the designs in the paper, I was angry. But I’m calm now. I found a ride through Queens on the R train particularly restorative.

-William Berlind

To Her, With Love