*Words from second winter living alone in NYC* Thanks for reading. xo
In a daze I stand alone lit in a florescent glow, a living breathing mannequin, quietly waiting. Subway cars pass by in a loud rumbling rush, the cold stale air below the city flowing over me.
Winter in Manhattan. I was warned it was going to be cold, but DAMN… I’m freezing my ass off! In spite of the cold, I am glad to be here. My soul journey has brought me here for reasons that I know will eventually be made clear. In spite of grasping at missing pieces of a fragmented soul, sorrows are being erased with the melting snow above. Thankfully, grateful clarity dwells beneath. Tears defrost my frozen smile, along with the warm promise of approaching Spring.
Our minds are prisons of our own designs. Numb and tingling, my lonely body aches with desire and anxiety. Strangers surround and pass by, pouring through the opening and closing doors of subway cars that briefly pause before continuing on the track underneath the city.
I hum to myself, waiting in a daze. The sound of the next train awakens me; the yellow beam lighting the tunnel as the stagnant air comes to life, my long hair flowing up and caressing my face, the train screeching to a halt. I sorta giggle, thinking: “Finally! Here’s the R train.”
The doors open, passengers evacuating and entering in a rush to continue on their own journeys. Stepping inside the subway car that vaguely smells of food and homeless souls, I gracefully place myself in an open spot between strangers, feeling the hard cold plastic seat below me; staring at the shoes that barely keep my feet warm walking in the icy world above… Wishing I hadn’t lost my only Winter hat.
Closing my eyes, I listen to the musical thoughts in my mind accentuated by the sound of the beat of the subway going forward, the movement cradling me, comforting me like Granny Mae when she held me as a baby in her rocking chair. Meditating, I recall her beautiful words of hope, in silence.
My icy-blue eyes open in a flash. Almost missing my stop, hopping out just in time before the doors close behind me like a chomping mouth. Walking past the graffiti, random ads, litter, and posters on the dirty walls I confidently strut forward. The light from above beckons me towards the exiting steps from the catacomb.
The train continues on its journey, gaining momentum passing by. Out of the corner of my right eye, I suddenly see myself. Stopping, I turn to face the train. I gaze at the reflection in each window passing by. Like a character in a movie, a young woman stares back in her winter coat, blonde hair flying up around her face. A smile lights up my face, humbly admiring my own ghostly image flashing by repeatedly. As people in the passing windows stare in brief wonder and curiosity, I’m instantly broken from the icy cage of my own emotional tomb.
Running up the stairs returning to the world above, I find myself grinning. In spite of Winter’s chilly grasp, I am enjoying the adventures in the city of my dreams. As the realization warms my soul, the hope of Spring’s inevitable arrival opens my eyes anew, as I put my sunglasses on. The sunlight balances the chilly air upon my face, wind blowing through my hair.
Five Winters later, I am still here. Will I ever ignore happiness again, feeling guilty when I realize I’m figuratively slapping myself in the face? Oh, the beautiful irony of life. A constant challenge of fear versus tranquility. My inner child embraces the woman I’ve become. In turn, I embrace my innocence, encouraged to be honest with myself and others. Accomplishments are noted, and failures are merely dress rehearsals for success.