This past week, I had to go to New York again for a work trip. I'll admit I was a bit hesitant because I felt that I had finally adjusted from my summer away and was in better spirits lately.
But this was for my other life, my PR life. I arrived at my solo hotel room and put on a cozy bathrobe and got into a bed fit for three. I bought packaged peanut butter crackers from Duane Reade and flipped through reruns that I never watch anymore.
I walked the streets of Manhattan with the quickest step and smirked at strangers. I went for lunch alone, at a restaurant I've been wanting to try despite my lack of a guest. And it was fantastic because I sat at the bar and ordered homemade cherry citrus soda, a whole wheat organic mushroom pizza and I didn't have to make tiny talk with anyone.
And then I went back to Brooklyn because once I get the adult solitude out of my system, there is nothing like hanging out with the girls who make me laugh from the bottom of my gut to the deepest creases of my crinkled eyelids.
And I was happy over nothing again. Over waiting for the subway underground while a busker hummed on acoustic guitar. Over the tattooed barista who said he hasn't seen me in awhile because I used to go to his cafe every morning. Over a tree exploding with amber leaves. Over taking the L train.
On my way back from Manhattan, I took the wrong train and had to transfer twice. You would think by now I would pay more attention. But I didn't. And the transfer left me with seven different flights of stairs to climb, with three pieces of luggage. But it was okay because every time, a new person offered to help carry my bags.
And on the final climb, at my old summer subway stop, a nice guy offered to help. Once we reached the top of the stairs, he gently placed down my bags and said:
And my heart dropped because he was both right and wrong.