New York … I Love You

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This is harder than I thought.

Why is this harder than I thought?

I didn’t see all the people I wanted to see. I should have planned better. But I didn’t. Seven days flew by in a flash. And now I’m back at the airport. At a different airport. Heading home … already.

I’m not only leaving a city I love, but too many people – from the glamour girls caught up in their 9-to-9’s and the handsome Jimmy’s-Johnny’s-and-Joe’s to the French oysters and their pearls.

While I wait for my bacon, egg & cheese on a roll and “regular” coffee (w/lots of milk & sugar) at the bodega around the corner, I chat with the Mexican worker who’s in Brooklyn on a job to build a pool,

about how there were 10 inches of snow upstate where he lives … but nothing in Manhattan,

and how he’d hate to live in the city because it’s too stressful,

and how he’s been to Baton Rouge and Shreveport.

Then the Asian guy at the counter says, wrapping my sandwich in an indispensable black plastic bag,

“ok, here you go my sweetie.”

And I say goodbye and happy holidays as I head to the subway, the one with the kiosks so I can purchase my single day pass, while my coffee promptly bounces out and over onto my puffy black duvet-esque coat.

I love how a man gets up, out of his seat, to let me and my giant backpack, Mom’s giant backpack actually, squeeze in for four more stops.

Gachunk … Gachunk … Gachunk … Gachunk …

I love the sound of the subway. “Stand clear for the closing doors.”

A switch to the 6, and a few stops later, I’m at Grand Central. Schlepping my bags four-and-a-half blocks northeast, I can finally drop them to the floor, say my hellos and goodbyes, trek back to Grand Central for a last-minute look, head back, pick up the bags, kiss my love goodbye and mount the shuttle to LaGuardia.

I left my heart in NYC. I left him on E. 45th Street at approximately 1:45pm, and now I’m in a busy airport fighting to keep the tears from gushing. Anticipating the weirdness, the normalcy, that looms back “home.”

From the few loved ones that I did meet up with on my journey, transition was in the air. Is this everywhere? This almost fearful anticipation of the unknown? What’s happening in life? Are we going in the right direction? It’s all going by so quickly. But with this sense of near desperation and being pushed into the future, comes an “It’s all gonna be ok” reassurance. That hopefulness New Yorkers know so well, or oblivion, or continuation of life. No time to waste “thinking” about it all. No quiet time to hear one’s own head noise. Maybe that’s a good thing.

There’s no traffic. It’s 10pm and there’s no traffic. Where am I? In what twilight zone did I just arrive? “A time warp. I love it, the culture, the architecture, it’s beautiful. But it’s a time warp.” That’s what my New York neighbor lady on Xanax said to me as we were leaving New Orleans seven days ago. She was right. I’ve landed, but I don’t know where.

A two-hour drive later and I’m at the house. Again, too quiet. A good night’s sleep? Space of my own? This is just weird. But soon will come the responsibilities. The mowing. The chopping. The scanning. The lack of distractors. What is this crazy path I’m on? Am I still sleeping? Did someone slip something in my drink? Will someone please tell me what really happened? … Goodbye city life …

Chaos …

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