We’re leaving NYC and crossing onto the continent. The skyline recedes. Four years fall away. The surreality of those years reveals itself. Why did I come to NYC? Why am I leaving? Behind me, a cloud of car and mental exhaust.
Those thoughts roil through my mind as we drive through Maryland, DC, the Shenandoah Valley, Nashville. I finally wake up in time to catch a glimmer of Harlem in Memphis, a glimmer of fireflies in Arkansas. Did I see the landscape? Did I go for a hike? Did I hear music? Did I eat bbq? Did I bathe in hot springs? I’m still off-gassing NYC.
At first sight of Dallas, my heart drops into my stomach. People on the continent are invisible. They live in houses. It’s one giant Schaumburg, landing pad of my immigration. By the light of flickering fluorescents, we settle into our temp digs. Smaller than our place in Harlem, can you believe it. Also, a third the rent, imagine that. Poolside grills. Pools. A dog playland with water hose free parking for our non-existent car library with free high-speed wifi loud 50-inch screen TV to watch some bachelor crap happy hour donation yoga walking paths 24-hour fountain lake and no litter. I’ve ingested the marketing brochure well. But there’s still nothing going on.
Just wait ‘til next week, when school starts. I’ve always played the long game.