In fifth grade, I found out that we were officially moving to Long Island. Part of me eagerly anticipated living in a house with a staircase and a grassy backyard. Yet, I was also overcome with worry about leaving the only place I’ve known. I was 10 years-old when I was diagnosed with chronic heartburn due to stress.
Same city; not same borough. See what your location says about you.
“Trekking all the way to Manhattan just to wait in line for a cronut just isn’t as satisfying as taking a drive out to Montauk for the best branch of Ralph’s Italian Ices.”
I called Gary to say goodbye, and then Teresa phoned to say how sorry she was that I wouldn’t be staying with her. “You’d get sick of me anyway,” I said, and turning to the digital clock radio, I noticed it was midnight and that my twenties were over.
It’s fascinating, really when you encounter someone who leaves an imprint on you so deep that even the smallest trigger – a song title, a film, a name, a scent – will engulf you without warning in a tidal wave of emotions.
Talking to Brad last night was so nice. He remarked, “From your stories, I can see I played a part in your formative years.” “As I recall, Brad,” I said, “they were your formative years, too.” “That’s what made it so sweet,” Brad said.
New York is really two cities. There’s the city of people who are educated, sophisticated, often young and single. They live in luxury (though they are always complaining). Side by side with them there’s a second city made up of the poor, the elderly, most blacks and Hispanics, and the middle class who haven’t fled to the Sun Belt.
I’m happy to be moving to Florida. Although I have no idea what I’ll be doing a month from now or three months from now, I feel like I’m starting fresh, as on the John Lennon song being played all the time now: “It’ll be just like starting over.”
At Union Square, the conductor announces that our train is on fire and that we should “probably” all get out. Having recently seen videotapes of the MGM Grand Hotel fire in Vegas, the California brush fires, and the Italian earthquake, most of us passengers are not willing to stick around.
People seem very anxious. The extent of Reagan’s victory – and the Republicans’ sweep of the Senate – has surprised even the conservatives; some liberals are still shell-shocked. People who never talk about politics are now talking about politics, and that seems to me the worst sign of all.