It’s been a whirlwind of cold weather, rain, antibiotics, and coughing. At one point I was traversing Penn Station (because that place is nuts on the best of days, and traversing is the kindest word I can think of). I rounded a corner and came face to face with a homeless man who felt deeply that he needed to belch directly into my face, and I responded by coughing loudly, and he jumped back and yelled, “Cheeseburgers!” That exchange pretty much sums up last week.
But this morning I took a walk. My medication is working, and I can breathe, and the weather is finally hinting at spring. The birds were chirping and the car honking was minimal and I found a magic tree with roots covered in shells.
That’s the thing about living in this city. The good days feel extra good, unlike good days anywhere else. You could be strolling with a bag full of groceries, say hi to someone you know, grab a coffee, and see the Chrysler Building on the skyline and think, “Wow, I actually live here.” But then there are the other days, the feverish sick days with dirty subways, freezing rainy weather, and belching-in-the-face-run-ins and you think, “I’m not gonna make it.”
Life in this city is a life of extremes.
So on these days, the days of beautiful weather and magical trees, I soak it up. I store it up in my brain for the days that aren’t so magic. The days where a bus flies by and sprays me with a tsunami of dirty street water (truth, happened, but the guy in front of me got it worse). I soak up all the park adventures with Jane so I can survive the days when a tiny old man spits a giant snot-ball on my new boots (truth, happened, I cried). Because that’s the thing I never realized until I moved here. This city is all the things. It’s beautiful and inspiring, it’s dirty and intimidating, it’s magic and exhausting.
But then again, that’s life in a nutshell. It’s magic trees and “cheeseburgers” and springtime and antibiotics. It’s the thrill of racing with the bulls and the simultaneous terror of a leg cramp.
I’m thankful to be part of all of it. This city. This life.
Minus the snot-balls.