Not 20 minutes had passed after my plane landed, and I was already putting out a fire while struggling with my two 50 pound suitcases, a 20 pound backpack and my Mary Poppins purse (undoubtedly weighing at least another 8 pounds). As I was on hold, I told the cabbie to take me to 9th and 34th, to which he replied with the amount of the fare, “$50 plus tip.” Before I could acknowledge (and be a little proud of) my immunity and familiarity with these common wallet harassments of the city, I was back on the phone dealing with my possibly-cancelled housing. (It turned out to be a misunderstanding. They said I didn’t confirm my modified check-in date. I did. Twice). I carried the 128 pounds of my life that were strategically stuffed within my suitcases, backpack and purse, up the stairs and decided to procrastinate on unpacking. Instead I went to find a bank-account-friendly meal and ate it in a park, while ponderously looking out onto the Hudson and thinking about life, change, and how crazy it all is.
My first memory of a park is one in Providencia, a district in the city of Santiago, Chile. I remember going there with my grandma (ca. 1990) and feeding, then chasing pigeons. (I took great pleasure in scaring those dumb-looking birds. Not maliciously, but it was fun)! If I had frozen that moment in time, and projected what I thought that little girl’s life would be like, I would have failed miserably in telling my actual story.
Even as a 13 year old, when I spoke fake-English with my brothers in Argentina (because we didn’t know how to speak the actual language, but we still wanted to sound cool like those people on TV) I would have never guessed my experiences to come.
And here I am. Currently invaded by the incessant sound of sirens and honking in a diminutive room in Midtown Manhattan. [End ponderous rant]
While thinking about my past, I witnessed a man in his underpants, pacing back and forth in this park, occasionally pausing and raising his face and arms to the sky. Later, as I walked along the heat reflecting sidewalks, the familiar, pungent odor of God-knows-what assaulted my nostrils. At this point, I couldn’t help but smile and I mentally welcomed myself to this fast paced, stress filled, crazy-people abundant, smelly affair. And I honestly couldn’t ask for a better way to start my post-college life.
I’m back, New York, and ready to keep up with you.
To read about my NYC summer adventure: