Monday, December 17, 2007
Honey, I'm home!
My going away party, in Warsaw.
My flight back is nothing to write home about. I read, I listened to music, I picked at the lasagna, I ate the two ham sandwiches Basia prepared for me (that's right! two! always two!), I stared out the window. I kept waiting for some big revelation to take place, some clever phrase or deep feeling that would sum up this experience and satisfy me. I had no such revelations.
Usually landing into a New York City airport, in this case JFK, its neighboring terrain a grid of copper and white lights at night, I feel a sense of excitement. This time I just felt nervous as the pilot tried to navigate the plane in the gusty wind.
I navigated my way back home using public transportation: the JFK air train, Long Island railroad, New York City subway. I looked out the window into the black night at Jamaica, Queens and again tried to feel something. I just felt tired. My watch said it was 3 am, Poland time.
Penn Station was filled with more sketchy characters than usual. The cold outside have brought the homeless in. The subway came right away, and the amount of minorities on the train initially startled me. Eastern Europe is white man's land.
Finally when I got to the 72nd Street station and began walking on 71st to my home, my mood lifted and I was eager to see Dan who I knew was waiting for me. Even living here everyday, it always makes me happy to see the light on the second floor lit. It means he is home.
Dan greeted me with kisses and hugs. He is the same old Dan but with a little more hair. Christmas music was playing, and he had smartly decorated the apartment for the holidays. A string of white lights framing the window and greenery and more lights on the mantle. Stockings hung, mine already half full, but I am not allowed to look inside. And then a beautiful winter flower arrangement just for me. He also welcomed me with a completely empty refrigerator--nothing except condiments and a half bottle of water I left in there in September! He mentioned in emails that the bed sheet had a little tear, but I was not expecting it to look like Edward Scissorhands had tried to sleep in my bed.
We talked into the night until I could barely keep my eyes open anymore. This morning, Dan left for work, and I went out to get my favorite New York City breakfast: an everything bagel with cream cheese. Walking back to the apartment, the city busy and blustery, kids going to school, adults to work, I felt somewhat strange being here. It's kind of the feeling when you step inside a pool with cold water and it is uncomfortable but you know if you wait a while, it will feel better. In terms of New York City, I just stuck my toe in the water and I am not sure I want to go in yet.
First view of New York: 72nd Street Station near my home.
Dan, waiting for me midst Christmas decorations galore.
Together at last!