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“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  wpid-img_8580.jpgnot 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:wpid-img_8569.jpg

           See you soon!

 bleu

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