Thursday night, I stopped in NYC on my way home from the Hamptons to have dinner and catch up with a few of my homies. We went to Pete's, a pub I once frequented, and we hung out for several hours.
I stayed in a hotel on the water in Jersey City (nice hotel, guaranteed parking, good deal through Hotwire). When I got back late that night after seeing my friends, I stood by the darkened Hudson River for a while and watched the lights of downtown Manhattan. I saw my old office building (the one with the square roof in the far right of the photo). Next to it, I saw the missing World Trade Center in my mind's eye.
On September 10, 2001, I left my office building musing about how my life had turned into the movie Groundhog Day. Every day seemed the same. At work, I sent out the same newsletters every day at generally the same time. I saw no logical path for advancement, and the managing editor's attitude toward me leaned toward disinterest. Walking to and from work, I always saw the same people. The pretzel/hot dog guy was always there. So was the fruit guy. I saw the same mother with a stroller nearly every day. The same crowds moved in the same directions. As usual that evening, I glared at the Marriott World Trade Center, from which my bag had been stolen months earlier as I sat at the bar (and whose security staff had been obstructionist and uncooperative), and I wished for the hotel's destruction.
I never went back to that office. The next morning, the Marriott World Trade Center (among other buildings) was indeed destroyed. My workplace moved "temporarily" to central New Jersey, and after six months, I couldn't take the commute anymore, so I quit and moved to DC for graduate school. File this all under "be careful what you wish for."
But now, I'm not sure where I belong. At times, I feel like a displaced person. I can't imagine that DC will become my home. I was born in New England, grew up in Pennsylvania, went to college in Upstate New York, lived in NYC, and here I am in DC. Maybe it doesn't matter. Maybe there's no need to define myself by where I live.
What do you think?