a note on slipping into transition
i should have known it would create fodder for anyone with a predilection towards judgment. that i was ditching my current gig to follow my husband to new york for a short three month spurt makes for a colorful assortment of reactions on the faces of those inquiring. most people aren’t truly being unkind. they’re curious. we all are. i suppose it’s a great achievement that most are skeptical of women of my generation who ‘don’t do anything.’ i am too. which holds the whole thing just outside the perimeter of my complete comprehension. it’s left me feeling like an anchorless ship abandoned at sea.
the harried pace of leaving and moving, shuffling and unpacking forces ample, though not endless, distraction. we finally took over the apartment last thursday and hurried to meet friends for a welcome dinner of sorts in soho. perhaps oversensitivity to the situation aligned the string of events.
a handful of angry (or hungry?) looking models in the elevator, a taxi driver baffled by my asking ‘how are you?’, the frenzied pace of our neighborhood during working hours, the heat, the smells, the curt nature of every sad-looking soul we crossed.
my legs swayed beneath me. i tugged at my dress and manically fussed with my hair. i hadn’t been this uncomfortable in… i can’t remember ever feeling this way. i ate too little and drank too much. i nervously chattered but can’t remember what i said.
part of it is removing myself from my job, a role that takes up 90% of my time and claims 100% of my identity. part of it is everyone asking what i’ll be doing, when i hardly know the answer. part of it is an unexpected, all-consuming wave of homesickness - for where? i don’t know. part of it is confirming my suspisicion that i am, in fact, not who i was 3 years ago when we last called this city home.
we escaped to the beach house on friday. the anxiety of need, to get away as quickly as possible. the train could not go fast enough. i folded into the sand, buried myself under the waves, and wanted to amplify the gentle hum of the wind in my ears, desperate for something else to fill my head.
emerging from the subway post-penn station on sunday afternoon, it all came crashing down. a light, fleeting rain must have blanketed the city while we were underground because as we jaywalked across wall street to reach our new address, i slipped. leather soled sandals, slick stone curb, thin coat of water, general unease in my step.
my feet came out from under me. the right arm attempts to break the hard fall while a brimming boat bag cushions my head from the concrete. struggling to get up, the arm goes limp.
PKS offers his hand and a hushed, you’re ok. you’re ok?
get me home, i beg. not knowing wholly where that is.
a call to my best friend, a resident at ny pres, garners instruction to wait on the arm until the morning. let’s wait and see, we say. it’s probably nothing.
tomorrow morning will also bring a first day at a new job (for PKS) and a meeting regarding big opportunities (for me). soon, books will arrive and i can begin studying for my board exams. but for now, for sunday night dinner, he asks for good, greasy chinese takeout.
it’s what i’ve missed most about living here, he says, half-teasing to get an impish smile out of his wife.
what else have we missed? i wonder. let’s wait and see.