Thursday, July 8

Home Then ...

Fifteen years ago today I made my way from Simsbury, Connecticut to New Haven (I don't remember how—did my father drive me?) and from there via Metro North with my then-boyfriend to New York City. From Grand Central Terminal we took the shuttle to Times Square, and from there maybe we took the 1 train to 79th Street, except that I dimly recall that there was some kind of problem that forced us to take a different route, because I remember studying the knot of colored lines on the subway map and feeling certain that I would never be able to learn that map or find my way around this city that extended for mile after dirty, crowded mile in every direction from the small unfurnished studio apartment on West 80th Street between West End and Riverside that I shared in those first few weeks with Andrea and Laura, the two friends from college who were going to be my closest companions in my new New York life. We ate our meals on the floor and slept in sleeping bags while we waited for our converted three-bedroom apartment with exposed brick and not much else going for it to vacate at the beginning of August. Living in that studio was like living in a microwave oven; and outside, the buildings seemed so tall and the sky so far away. At last I could call New York City my home, and never in my life had I felt so out of place.

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