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The City that Doesn't Sleep and Other Ramblings

Mon, Jul 30, 2001 10:52PM -0600

So I am acutely aware of New York now, having been there twice in two months, for a total of nineteen days. I watched "Futurama" with intense interest, gazing at the eternal twin towers of the World Trade Center looming above the skyline of New New York. At 10pm today, it just so happened that Chicago's Channel 32 (Fox) showed "The Simpsons" episode in which they have to go to New York to retrieve Homer's car from in front of 1 World Trade Center, which I was just in front of some three days ago. When they showed the Port Authority, I remembered standing in front of it on a rainy day in May. When watching commercials, whenever I see a fragment of a familiar landmark, even something as mundane and ambiguous as a stream of yellow taxi cabs or a green street sign, I perk up in interest.

But in the back of my head, I realize it's not really the city itself, though it is a living organism in of itself. It's the people I know there (however transiently they plan to stay). And so my memories of New York are always laced with familiar faces from lands far off, bringing a little piece of Home with them, and it all ties in with my realization that Home is not a place. It's always been who you're with.

But I'm trying to live in the here and now, trying to feel good about where I am and what I'm doing, trying to let the seed that was planted in me this last trip grow roots. Hopefully it will find nourishment in my soul, which up until these moments, I have thought of as a cold barren wasteland, and hopefully it will thrive even without the presence of the ones who have planted it. Maybe someday I will come to realize that I am enough, at least for myself, no matter how imperfect, but it's always baby steps, one foot in front of the other. It might be months, years, decades.

Oh, it's amazing how numb, how stoppered up you can get after six years of never coming to grips with how you feel, of habitually tossing aside any scrap of emotion for fear of disappointing yourself and others. Sitting in class, drinking a Coke, I felt good, for no other reason than the fact that I existed at that moment. It don't think it's some drug-induced mania. I think that the fog is at last lifting. Like waking from a bad dream, as I've said before.

Oh yes, I still fear the darkness, every night. But maybe I can finally keep this fire burning all by myself, one day, then maybe two days, but I'd best not look too far ahead. The answers don't come all at once.

But enough of my cryptic allusions.

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