I've been exhausted the past couple of days. I'm going to go ahead and blame that on hormones.
The trip to NYC was great. I know most people don't think of it as a relaxing destination, but it was for me this time. Careful not to make too many plans, Darrell and I roamed around the city on our own schedule, hopped on the subway when inspiration hit us, and snapped photos without concern over being seen as tourists. We sat in Times Square again. We visited the Museum of Natural History and saw the Planetarium there. And, of course, we went to the John Lennon memorial at Strawberry Fields. I'll tell the story as best as I can recollect...
Thursday night, your stockings needed mending
We flew into Newark Liberty International Airport Thursday afternoon, December 7th. This was, perhaps, one of the most meaningful parts of the trip to me. It's difficult to explain how landing in one of America's filthiest cities can be so meaningful, but I'll try.
During take-off, I have to look out the window, or I will get motion sickness. Plus, I really enjoy looking out the window while I can. But anyhow, once the plane reaches cruising altitude, if the clouds aren't pretty and interesting, I can read. Then, once the plane begins its descent, I have to look out the window again, or – you guessed it – I'll get motion sickness.
I made it through take-off nicely, and I read during cruising altitude. On descent, I started looking out the window. And what I saw was New Jersey. Or Pennsylvania. Or some combination thereof. The location isn't that important. It was just the region. The houses. The lakes. The little patches of trees. It reminded me of when I was there almost a year ago now. It reminded me of how I had my life so very carefully planned and how focused I was on fulfilling those expectations at any cost. I felt so many words rushing through that I couldn't help but remain silent. I thought of so much to share here, that now I can't recall any particular part to tell. Though one part remains with me, I'm not sure how to share it. Again, I'll try. It's the fact that, though I am divorced, I will never be able to fully divorce myself from my past marriage. There is a need that remains in me to censor myself from saying all the things that will make people understand that no one is a monster in this situation. No one is evil. Not me, not him, and not him. Things just happen. I left, but it was not without reason, without logic, without emotion. Through his words and without mine, their anger and misunderstanding will grow. And, because of my inability to explain, no one but me will understand it all fully.
I admire Penny so much, because she is able to put into words how she feels about the past, the present, and hopes for the future. I don't see how I will ever be able to do this.
So, as the plane descended into Newark, I imagined that I could see our little apartment. I imagined myself down there, possibly in a little house by now. I saw who I could have been, and I was grateful for who I am not.
And then we landed. And day-to-day reality came back, and we made our way into the city via a train into NYC Penn Station. It was very cold that night, but I had my Darrell to keep me warm.
Friday night arrives without a suitcase
Friday, December 8th, Darrell and I roamed around the city a bit. We ate a vegetarian restaurant in Chinatown. Darrell had mock chicken, and I had mushrooms, vegetables, and soft tofu on rice. We shared fried vegetable dumplings and orange tea.
Then, we made our way up to the John Lennon memorial at Strawberry Fields.
There weren't as many people there as last year... and more people were drunk this year. However, thanks to the fellow with the red hoodie, the singing kept some semblance of order for a while. We successfully observed a moment of silence without that drunken fellow shouting "Hey Jude!" too many times. And I made my way into the mosaic once.
I had to ask nicely to wedge myself into the center. People weren't as willing to give this year, which is unfortunate. I placed my candle down and lit it while everyone was singing "Norwegian Wood" (strangely appropriate... "so I lit a fire / isn't it good?"). You may recognize the candle when I post pictures. I know what it means to me, and I am glad to have left that burden there.
Later, we had the best and most expensive piss ever. I'll share that story another day, though. :^)
Crap. I forgot there's no Saturday lyric in "Lady Madonna."
Saturday, December 9th, we roamed. We ate at a great place on the Upper West Side called Uno. They had vegetarian vegetable soup and this really big chocolate peanut butter cup as dessert. It was yummy.
After lunch, we visited the Museum of Natural History, which was my first visit to the Planetarium, or any planetarium for that matter. It was mighty impressive. And then, we wandered through the museum. The most impressive thing I saw this time was the meteorite collection and the gemstones. I got to touch most of the meteorites and some of the gems, and we saw the Star of India. I love star sapphires, and they had some gorgeous ones there.
And then, after almost being eaten by the crowds and unruly children, we escaped and walked back to the subway. The subway took us to the Lower East Side, where we successfully found Kate's Joint after wandering around a bit. There, we had mock popcorn shrimp, Darrell had pasta with red sauce, and I had fettuccine with non-dairy sauce and mock some-kind-of-fishy-meat-stuff.
Then, we crashed. This night, though, we figured out how to work the heat, so the room was toasty warm.
Sunday morning creeping like a nun
Sunday, December 10th, we had to be out of the hotel by noon. We wandered around a bit around Park Avenue in the morning after breakfast, and then we came back and checked out. We headed to Penn Station, caught a train to Newark Airport, and then rode around on the airport AirTrain for a while. Really, if you have time to kill at an airport, riding the AirTrain rocks.
We waited through long security lines, made our way to the terminal, and waited. Our flight was delayed 1 1/2 hour, and we had gotten there early, so it was a long wait. I finished my book. We drank coffee, ate Bugles and Reese's peanut butter cups, and waited. We boarded. We took our seats back from the chicks that tried to usurp them. We endured the sound of the engines. We ignored the jovial couple in front of us leaning their seats back. I refrained from going off on the flight attendant for insisting I take a turkey sandwich in order to get some chips and a Twix. (Don't you people understand that some people don't eat meat and don't want it shoved in their faces?!)
And we finally made it home to rest our sore feet.
posted by Jennifer at 12/13/2006 08:35:00 AM