Out of nowhere. Out of the clouds. All of a sudden. Lights. Lights. Lights and lights. From my aisle seat I look to the left and then I look to the right and in the distance thousands of yellow and white lights litter the landscape below. As the plane descends, the lights intensify. Nothing but lights, lights, lights. Then to the left, the bottom of Manhattan appears, the buildings of Wall Street give way to the buildings of Midtown. My heart beats a little faster. The sight of the isle of Manhattan sometimes takes my breath away.
When you are living tightly against millions of people, fighting to get on the 6 train, dragging bags of groceries up four flights of steps, wondering who stole your newspaper, wondering why people don’t curb their dogs, wondering why trash is piling up on the sidewalk --- you don’t stop to take in the urban beauty. It is from 10,000 feet above that the city looks inviting, amazing, tantalizing, breath-taking, possible. No one really appreciates or realizes what it takes to live in this City, much less “make it”. That saying, “if you can make here (NYC) you can make it anywhere” is VERY true. The City is relentless and unforgiving. But at the same time it is exhilarating and exciting. I love this City.
From above the water, the plane swoops in and tires hit the tarmac. The jet roars and slows, taxiing to from the runway to the gate. I deplane, drag my carry-on to the bus stop, wait for the bus, get on the bus, get off the bus in Harlem, get on the 6 train, get off the 6 train, drag my bags to the apartment building, carry them up 4 flights of stairs, unlock my apartment, drop my bags in the corner and flop onto my bed.
I lay there for a few minutes and then get up. I look at my bags and consider unpacking. I really should get dinner. But it is late and I am tired. So I change into my jam-jams, brush my teeth, remove my contacts, wash my face and get into bed. I pull the covers over my body and under my chin. Even with the apartment lights off the apartment is not dark. There is always light in this City. It is never dark. Then I hear it. Honking. Sirens. And ahhhh. Like that, I am home. This is home. I am home.