Tuesday, October 04, 2005

And after all these years, forget about all the troubled times, the troubled times...

Happy Anniversary to me. A year ago today, I moved from Mission Viejo, CA to New York City, NY. I think that today would be a good time to tell the story of my move.

I took a red-eye flight from LAX the night of October 4. Since my flight did not leave until about 11PM, I had an entire awkward day to pass before I took off. I was already packed, what little I was bringing had already been shipped, I had said good-bye to my friends- I had nothing to do. I ended up watching MTV for a few hours, including one show about a blonde dancer who moved to New York City to try to break into the Broadway scene. I remember scoffing because she stayed for about two months before moving home. "Lightweight!" I thought. Oh, the arrogance of the ignorant...

Anyway, after watching TV all afternoon,I ran errands with my mom. We were both pretty depressed, so when I went into the drug store to buy mascara, she gave me money to pick up some beer. I think she meant for me to buy a six pack that the whole family could enjoy, but instead I chose two large Heineken keg cans. I couldn't take my eyes off of them. The cashier looked down at the mascara, lip gloss and beer knowingly, as if it was obvious to her that I was about to spend the evening trying to seduce someone.

I had dinner (and my keg can of beer) with my family, and then we took off for the airport. The good byes were sad but not overly drawn out. Before I knew it, I was on the plane falling asleep. I woke up once very early in the morning as we were flying over Long Island. A wave of panic unlike any I have ever felt rushed through my body, particularly through my upper arms. Was I crazy???? This was not the time to answer that question; I made myself go immediately back to sleep.

I landed in JFK around 6AM. I picked up my two suitcases and got into a taxi. On the ride to the city, I read a card that my brother had given me and ate a Cliff Bar for energy. I hate Cliff Bars; they taste truly awful, but I eat them because my brother-in-law does. I had the driver drop me off at Penn Station and I put my suitcases in the storage unit. I was supposed to meet my uncle at this exact location in about 12 hours so that I could head with him out to Princeton, New Jersey, where I would stay for the next week or two until I found a place to live. What was I supposed to do for the next 12 hours in a city that I had spent no more than six days in before moving there?

I decided to head to the offices of Ruder Finn, the place where I would start work in six days. I didn't want to go in; I just wanted to look at it. (One year later, I still come back just to look at it. No, I don't. They make me go in and do stuff.)

Once my only idea was over, I decided it would be a good idea just to walk. I walked from 57th Street up to 80th Street, and then down to Tribeca. My guess is that it is about a five mile walk. I took long breaks for lunch and then to read at the New York Public Library. I read part of Steinbeck's "The Pearl," and then I fell asleep with my head on a long table. The security guard woke me up by knocking on the desk.

At three o'clock, I met up with the only person that I knew in New York at the time, Ryan Burke. We had a late lunch/early dinner, but I was pretty disoriented and not very conversational. I hung out at his apartment until I took the subway over to Penn Station to meet my uncle.

And now here I am, one year later. I thought I would be really happy having made it to my year, the time period I set for myself, but I feel sort of weird. Weird but satisfied, because I just ate some tomato soup with rice in it.


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