I just got back from a trip to the East Coast. The first few days were frenetic and rushed, and then the journey was more laid-back.
There was a fair share of hiccups – my travelling partner came down with a bout of food poisoning after eating arepas. I was kicked out of the Met at closing time, continuing a longstanding trend of not exiting museums until nudged out by implacable men in suits.
The adventure to see the Statue of Liberty bears special mention. The security lines are endless, the tourists are as skilled at the art of elbowing as any intrepid woman I have met on the Bus Number 90 from my under-grad college to the Ukkadam bus-stand. I seem to have as little padding to shield me as I did back then, because I was quite sore afterwards.
Sailing at Harvard was a lovely experience. Being dragged around by my never-tiring companion to see all the little known gems in Cambridge reminded me of my desk-job and how I need to move more, but the sights were well worth seeing. And they were sights best seen with a companion enthusiastic and patient as mine was.
New York was a bright city of lights, awake all the time. Manhattan was as loud as Brooklyn was quiet.
I found graffiti in alleyways honoring Bowie’s Berlin trilogy.
I went to the independent bookshop tucked away on the 87th, perhaps retracing Yoda’s footsteps from 2012. I remember Taleb’s book bearing his autograph.
I was walking back from Times Square when I saw everything lit up in purple. Music blared loud from the Madison Square stadium. It took me a moment to make the connection. I remembered someone once telling me that he was to Minnesota what Buffet was to Omaha, in their persistence and loyalty to the lands they grew up in, or something to that effect.
It took me five years to get to New York. I had wanted to, for ages. I am glad that I waited. Sometimes, it is more about seeing a place at a right time, than it is about seeing a place.
Last year was necessary to tear down broken ways, habits and choices that no longer worked for the person I had become, and the years before that were necessary to show me how fragile life can be, and how easy it is to make choices and embrace ways of life that can lead one down brittle paths. Now, perhaps, is the time to be still and heal.