I’ll be honest with you.
I woke up right now in the middle of the night and I can’t go back to sleep. I turn over, the clock reads 5:47. I had just gone to bed three and a half hours earlier, and dreamed about a conversation I had with a friend about New York. My mind is running ahead of my body. I stare long into the dark before my eyes take in the scene of my bedroom. Odd. It was once familiar.
I say once familiar because all of a sudden, my room seemed just a little too big, like it should be spliced into thirds, and it felt unnerving that there was so much space–emptiness–that would have been filled up if this were New York. Then it hit me. This sort of inconsolable pit within me because I was no longer in New York. I ran through all the lovely and fascinating people I had come across. Some old friends, others new, all coming together like best-of scenes from TV shows. I couldn’t get them out of my mind.
I thought about one girl in particular.
I thought about how all these people and stories were merely one hundredth of one hundredth, like a spigot I had just discovered and started to turn. The water’s dripping, but really it’s waiting to erupt–like that gushing fire hydrant I passed on my hot summer day in Brooklyn.
How could all these stories be running around the pavements, flying down the subways and taxis and street corners and open parks of New York? There was so much life and activity in these people, in that city, and I wanted more–I need more. Maybe all this is just the writer in me talking. But perhaps, maybe, I’m the one meant to catch them all.
I recalled a speech I heard several days prior. Seth Godin was talking about art and generosity, and in one example, he described how piano players encounter a fermata in their sheet music while playing that tells them to “play it as you feel it”–not just as it is written. And he mentioned how people from all over the world would come to hear one composer do Beethoven because it was his own particular, felt version of Beethoven.
Is this my fermata? To add my own voice to the sheet I’ve been following thus far? Hell, is this even jazz and I’m supposed to break from the sheet altogether?
I don’t know. Right now it’s two hours before I’m supposed to wake up for work and I should probably rest a little more, and think about these things a little more. But there’s something about the city and the people that I cannot shake (shack).
Maybe the seed’s already been planted, who knows. The old me–or I suppose the older me–wouldn’t have even bothered to get up to catch these jumbled thoughts.
Odd. Before this trip, I was once familiar.