We have been in NY almost two weeks now and while this trip has been a homecoming of sorts for my son and me, things are decidedly different. For one, we are not staying at my Mom’s house. Her house is small. When we lived here, it was even smaller. Two bedrooms, three adults, one child, three dogs. Sleeping arrangements consisted of one adult alone in one of the bedrooms. I was not that adult. At Joe’s house we occupy the guest bedroom with the small man on an air mattress (after trying to sleep with him for a few nights of knees and elbows being dug into my ribs). I thought I could do it, but I couldn’t. Sleeping at Joe’s means that we see a bit less of my Mom which she does not love but, in my mind, helps us to all be happier. In my mind staying here means that the toilets are less worrisome, showers longer and sleeping later. I like it.
Since being here I have done many of the things that I love about out here. I have eaten a fabulous greek salad at Hellenic Restaurant, had the vegetarian Rueben from the market in Greenport, filled my growler with black duck porter from the Greenport brewery about three times, drank pink wine at Croteaux and had the best bagel ever in Southampton after running a 5K. It’s been good. But it’s been different. I definitely feel like I can do more being back since I am not unemployed. Not being unemployed meant that we could take a trip to “the city” yesterday. It is what we in NY call New York City, it is just “the city.” And visiting it is an expensive endeavor.
Folks don’t seem to understand how far it is from where I am now and the distance to the city. It is far. It is an hour and a half drive to get to the train station by car. Then it is another hour and fifteen minutes on the train. Then that dumps you off in Penn Station where you have to take the subway to wherever you are going. That was us yesterday. I’m not complaining. We had a great time. The thing that struck me getting off the LIRR in Penn, there is this smell. It is a smell that is unique to the city. I have never smelled anything like it anywhere else. It is hot and kind of dirty, and is comforting in an odd way. Maybe it is made up of grime, trains and the presence of lots of lots of people smell. The city was an adventure of prehistoric armadillos, vomiting, sardine-like subway conditions, walking and vegan food. It was a good day.
I love being here but I have yet to spend any real time with my then unemployed friend Chrissie. We would visit the lunch truck and have wine in the Fall at lunch during the week. It is a very warm and fuzzy memory for me. She is no longer unemployed and does not have any real flexibility to spend a lot of time with us during the week. I am hoping to get together with her this weekend, the last weekend we are here. The time has gone way too quickly. Or maybe it just feels that we because we can’t seem to recapture what we had before. With all the time we had. The circumstances. It can never be the same. As much as we try to recreate how it was. We love it but it’s not the same. As my son keeps saying, New York is wonderful. And it is true. We continue to use the memories of our six months here to bolster the time we are having now. To fill in the cracks and spaces to make it stronger and better but not the same.