Dennis wakes up early this morning, takes a shower, and packs his things. I am asleep, or pretending very well. When he starts to make more noise, I know it’s his sign I’m supposed to wake up and I do so grudgingly. Within five minutes or so, I have packed my bags too, leaving out just the things I will use today while he is working. When he leaves, I’m left to my boring devices and am soon out the door to the post office on Columbus nearest our hotel to mail off some presents from Brazil. Having then lightened my load, I head to Union Square by subway and spend the next several hours walking, trudging, skipping, and shivering down the east side of Manhattan, down into the financial district where I see for the first time the footprint of the World Trade Center, then head to the East Village, Chinatown, Little Italy, and the NYU area. The blister that formed yesterday from my high heels threatens to burst and every now and then I think I feel a wetness in my boot that would signal a burst blister but no pain immediately following so I erase it from my thoughts and continue walking. At some point, Dennis calls and tells me it’ll be hours still until we’ll see each other and in a moment of frustration I whine. This is no fun, this whining, so I hang up the phone and make it a point to sit down somewhere. Anywhere. Wrong turns in a big city can make a girl tired. On Mulberry and Prince, I find a bookstore that has chairs in it and throw myself in the first empty one I see with such ownership one might expect to hear in my sigh, “I’m home!” I flip nonchalantly through an Edwidge Danticat book and I remember the time I met her, years ago, and think about how small she was then. She probably still is now. Fearing I might fall asleep sitting up, I find the bookstore’s cafe and occupy a table against the windows. I steal some Internet and look at the sitters around me. It will be hours still, I think, until I can put my feet up for real. My computer’s battery life is draining as quickly as my physical energy and I wonder how much longer I’ll last. I think about tomorrow’s meeting, at my new school, and I find myself wishing I had a place to call home in this city, a place I could go to now, throw open the door, greet a little dog or cat who’s waiting for me, sigh with relief and throw my feet up on a coffee table saying “I’m home!” and meaning it. I think about a time when I’ll get to do just that and I feel a fluttering in my chest knowing in the grand scheme of things it’s soon.
Wanderland.21 02 2008