“One belongs to New York instantly, one belongs to it as much in five minutes as in five years.” -Tom Wolfe.
I passed out on a bathroom floor in upstate New york and woke up in a Hospital near my parents house in Michigan. A distance of 650 miles from the place that I called home. Needless to say I was swimming in a sea of hopelessness and loss. I had been unfortunate enough to have had a massive stroke, which nearly killed me and was seemingly making my dreams of returning to my beloved city all but impossible. Suddenly the idea of time passing terrified me. With each new day rather than look at the possibilities I thought of all the things I missed or was missing out on. As far as I was concerned the prime of my life had been stolen and was getting spent sitting in waiting rooms, at a therapy, or in Doctor offices. Recently I had the chance to go back and visit my old neighborhood of Astoria Queens. Rather then saying “goodbye,” as my Mother suggested I chose to say “See you later.” Luckily I found that not much had changed in the neighborhood, which quelled my fears of the world changing drastically without me to be a part of it. I was somewhat apprehensive before the day of visiting arrived, mostly because I was worried I would become very sad. However, once I had arrived there everything was as I remembered and thus it was actually comforting. All the time I spent living in fear of missing out was dashed. I chose to use this visit for motivation rather than defeat. I navigated the neighborhood easily(as I know it!) and arrived to a dinner with close friends.
Afterwards I left to have a toast in my first apartment there.( Photo Below, right)
My former roommate and I laughed as We reminisced and spoke of the neighborhood changes. In many ways I felt as if I hadn’t been gone at all. For months all I wanted to do was return to the city I love and I believed it was lost to me.It’s very easy to buy into the naysayers that do nothing
but instill doubt. Luckily though, I have some people that remind me of the YES. The visit was not only to see friends but to
get a surgery that would make a difference in the speed of my “road trip,” back East. Thanks to the love and support of many they’ve kept my gas tank full and the motor running. In many ways were all on a “road trip,” I just happened to break down along the way, experienced a delay, and had to take a detour. Along with me in my vehicle each of my friends and family wrote me a letter ordrew me a picture. Every now and then I figure out that these individual pages fit together, and wherever one is missing I write my own. Soon enough it appears that it’s becoming an Atlas that’s pointing me where I need to go. Earlier on the map was destroyed and I thought I’d never find my way back to where I wanted to go. Luckily though I have some angels on my side that seem to be well equipped with maps and
glue! Gastroteca Astoria below:
See you soon!