brief snapshots in time. memories and thoughts. disorganized and random.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

the big, scary city

I had my boarding pass. I headed to the security line. wait, it wasn't there. my ID.

I made a beeline to the airline's customer service desk, while calling my sister at some ungodly hour of the morning to have her find and deliver my ID.

as I'm apologizing and explaining the problem to my sister, I got to the front of the line. as I told my sister she'd have to bring me my ID. the very nice woman behind the desk said no, it wasn't a problem I could get on the flight.

I apologized to my sister once more for waking her up and told her I'd call her later.

apparently all you have to do if you forget your ID is go through the super security screening, where they look through all of your bags, pat you down, wand you, and laugh at the way you haphazardly packed at 3am.


it was my first time in the big city.

although I'd been to London and DC, and managed to navigate those cities adequately on trains running underground, I was a little worried about finding my way around New York City. although I'm not entirely sure why.

I was meeting my friend from grad school at his office on Wall Street. it was easy, he said. hop a bus from the airport then catch the subway. that would get me to within a block of his office.


I hopped in a cab at the airport. I may be a small-town girl, but I do know lugging my suitcase on a bus, then the subway my first time in any city was not a good idea.

I went up to the front desk of his building. they asked for my ID. I explained the problem. the security guard was not amused. he nervously called up to my friend's office to make sure I was expected. after a temporary photo ID was taken for my visitor's sticker and a bit of a wait I got to head up to see my friend.

it was great to see him, although it had only been about a year since I'd seen him last, at his wedding, those events are never that conducive to quality friend time.

he had a bit of time until his next meeting, and took me past where George Washington took his oath of office over 200 years ago, past the New York Stock Exchange on our way to Ground Zero. it hit me as I walked past the beautiful architecture, that I should have grabbed my camera out of my luggage.

when we arrived at our destination, the air seemed heavier. although there were people milling about, it was unnaturally quiet. it was strange. it wasn't what I expected. although I don't know what that was. we didn't stay long, since he had to get back for his meeting

as we walked back into his building, past the security guard, I understood better why they were so concerned about my missing ID. why the NYSE building was cordoned off. despite a friend from high school's brother being on Flight 93, feeling the mood around where the twin towers used to stand made 9/11 so much more real. so much more tragic.


that night, my friend, his wife and I walked through Riverside Park along the Hudson to the boathouse to grab drinks while we watched the sun set over the river on a beautiful spring day.

his wife was not feeling well, so my friend and I wandered over to a great Mexican restaurant. we caught up on each other's lives. talked about friendship and how valuable it is. about how lucky we were in grad school to have such incredible people there with us. about just how amazing friendship and life are.

on our walk home I thought about how much more we appreciate the good things when contrasted against the not-so-good. how brilliant colors appear after the winter. how much more we value our friendships when we've been apart a while.

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