With a taste for the dramatic and symbolic, I shed my last days of being in my Twenties on a celebratory experience. The experience would be more life changing than I thought. I boarded the plane heading to Charlotte,NC with a connecting flight to New York, New York. I slept for the most part on the way to Charlotte. I had the celebration for the night before to contend with at the time.
As I landed, happy to stretch my legs, I was thrusted back into the Middle of America and bits of the South. You forget that people are over weight, not use to seeing people with hair like mine, and over all still afraid of others. I walked around watching the different groups of people huddle at their terminals. Looking at the types of people that go to Fort Lauderdale, Boston, Phoenix, and the like. Weird caricatures of the American life in each little box.
On my connecting flight, headed to New York, I tried to keep my self together. The heat, the altitude, the small flying tube full of of cramped people… All of it started to get to me. I got up to get some water and begged for the flight to be over. Lucky for me this was only an hour long flight. I exited the plane happy to be free, but dreading the New York heat. A muggy, thick heat that lingers and bounces off of all surfaces.
After reclaiming my bags I wondered out of LaGuardia. The lines of people trying to catch cabs was ridiculous. I remembered directions and instructions on how to get to my friends place in Washington Heights. I hopped on the M60 headed in that direction, but to my surprise I realized that I can’t pay for the bus with cash. I had to get a Metrocard. Luckily, the bus driver gave me a nod and simply let me pass with a “Get on Dread”. (Thanks dude.)
A few stops in, and confused as hell I get off… Thinking I was close. I was not. I was in East Harlem. I grabbed a cab and talked to the Cabby. Told him I was from California, I was there to make art in a summer residency. He told me he loved art. Soon I was there, W179th… The cabby helps me get my bags out. I wave him off and drag my luggage across the street. There I was, luggage in hand being stared at by a large group of Dominicans. One dude thought I was lost and told me that the train was a few blocks away. I assured him that I was meeting a friend. I called my friend, who happened to give me the wrong address, as she quickly came down to help me. The doors swing open and there with a big smile was Cathleen.