I used to travel to New York City a lot. I was working in Syracuse and every weekend would set off to one of the many big city destinations within a four-hour drive. New York City was my favorite. There was something about the pulse of the streets, and the diversity of the people, or maybe it was just being in my twenties, single, and open to just about any adventure. I’d stumbled into so many parties, events, conversations, romantic escapades, and lusty flings. It was like the energy of the city could do me no wrong.
Fond memories never fade fast. They only seem to overtake you like a burden, a call to try to relive…of course, it’s impossible. Nothing stays the same; not you, not the cities. Or maybe the cities stay the same, but your view becomes layered with so much time and experience that it all ends up blending into an abstract image.
I learned a lot about myself during last week’s visit to New York City. It had been years, and it was as if the city was calling to me, or maybe it was just the lure of a cheap flight, and even cheaper accommodations, but I don’t want to turn into one of those jaded folk I used to write about in my journals. The older men with just a touch of grey in their hair, and a lot more sarcasm in their voices whenever the subject of relationships was breached.
But there I was. In some warehouse in Brooklyn, at 3AM, getting irritated at the “kids” bumping into me as they tried to dance to techno music that was far too loud to hold even a semblance of a conversation with anyone, thinking: This is so not me anymore. And maybe it never was. I don’t remember dance parties going down like this. Or maybe I was just lucky back then. Maybe I knew different people and different venues that had a much better vibe.
The next day I walked around Central Park trying to erase the experience and replace it with the New York City I had grown to love, but something was still missing. What was I searching for? What did I want? My husband there, holding my hand and our sex life back on track? A new lover to escape with regardless of how fleeting the tryst? Shopping? An art exhibit?
The manuscript of my next book hung from my shoulder like a pendulum on a clock reminding me why I had gone back to that city in the first place. I desperately tried to find a coffee shop or a private corner in a cheap, dingy restaurant. I wanted to write. I just wanted to write.