Monday, August 8, 2011

Recall.

I've been home from NYC for around four days now.

I haven't written in quite some time.

I can't decide if it's best to just leave things to my memory or to pen them out here for all to share.  I assume that since I'm here on the blog and writing, I'll probably let everything leak out - but it's not planned.  New York was what some would deem a sacred experience. 

There are times in your life when things feel... right.  When you are positive you are in the place where you ought to be just then.  New York City with the Butterfly cast and crew was like that - except more.

When we failed to make it to the finals round of competition, many of us felt as though we were being ripped away from something that had become necessary for us to function.

Odd, because being in a van with seven - eight other people and being in the city attempting to cater to the needs of all of those people can be exhausting.  Some want pizza, some don't.  Some are thirsty and want to stop, others wish to keep on walking.  Some are freaked out by the subway and would rather take a cab and vice versa.  We all have our little neurosis with which we must contend:

In China Town, in the rain, I stood outside the restaurant until we were able to have a table - the people, the tight quarters, the noise, the smells - it was too much.  Panic set in, and I had to escape.  It was better in my mind to stand outside in the dark with the shady characters next to me, the cigarette smoke, the traffic, and the raindrops than to feel as though I could never leave the cramped airway between the restaurant and the world as the group of us stood for ten minutes.

The thing is - even there, even then, I felt at home.  Sure, I was having a panic attack in the middle of the city in front of a large group of people, but that's me.  Not such a pretty part.  But me just the same.

There were other, tranquil times.

Three of us walked through Battery Park and took in the Native American History Museum - made small talk with the security guards, teared up at the beauty of blown glass masks and stunning baby carriers and intense photography.

It was not the first time I had been to the city.  It was a place I frequented in college and have visited several times since leaving academia, but this time was different.

I noticed the parents with their children.  I noticed the Hudson River and the bike lanes and the cost of apartment space and the ebb and flow and inhale and exhale of the city.  It was as though, for the first time, I wasn't a visitor, but I belonged.  I didn't want to take photographs - I wanted to live.  I wanted to be outside the hotel and on the streets.  I wanted to be in the subway and scarfing a bagel in the morning and getting to know the newspapermen on the street corner.

Leaving, even if we had won, was bound to be a melancholy sense of loss.

Any tears shed were about the leaving.  The separation from the people with whom I had spent impressive portions of the past two years.  The wrenching away from the life I loved to breathe.  Losing the competition was disappointing and somewhat frustrating, but I didn't feel like it was the end of something.  Instead... that part?  It felt like the beginning.

2 comments:

ajatuksia said...

Beautifully written. Thank you for being my constant reminder to write.

Missy said...

Thank you!

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