Going to a committee meeting tonight, after a somewhat hellish train experience back from Boston (more on that later), I happened upon the Transformers 3 set and was able to snap a shot of a burned-up CTA bus. And, getting a ride home with Tiffany, I was talking with her and Jocelyn about being in NYC a few years ago with Brooklyn Boy. We’d happened upon a set of one of the crime shows, complete with police tape and a dummy dead guy. Several blocks later, near The Living Room, we encountered what I thought was another set from another crime show. But, no, someone had really been shot, and that chalk outline was real.
I am so grateful to have seen so many things, both real and imagined. In a little more than a week, I’ll be heading to NYC for the fourth August in a row, for probably the 15th time (I’ve long lost count). The city is as comfortable now as it was awkward when I first touched down, days before my 33rd birthday. It’s been my refuge from bad relationships, my reward for frugality, my escape from the chaos in Chicago. One day, it will be my home, but for now it is to me what summer homes are for others.
This August’s trip is a little different, in that I’ll be in Manhattan for four days, on Fire Island for four days, and then back in Manhattan for three days. It’s the first real vacation I’ve had in seven years, the only time I’ve ever been sober and done something nice for myself to such an extreme. Those four days on the beach are going to be spent reading, sunbathing, swimming, walking, socializing, and generally meditating. It is something I have NEVER DONE. I am a bit scared.
But if I, while drinking, often imagined I was starring in my own melodrama, it is just as easy, sober, to pretend I am leading a fabulous life until it becomes clear that this isn’t a movie or play…it is the life I’ve imagined but didn’t know how to carve out for myself. And while I sometimes need a kick to realize this, for the most part I have learned to quietly accept these gifts as part of living in a state of grace. I know my travels will be wonderful, and I am happy I’m aware enough to realize that my reality might well be others’ dreams.