Friday, June 19, 2009

8 Minutes and a World Away

I need to think, to be alone. But New York City wasn't made for that.

Nevertheless, sometimes the stars align. Sometimes the sky is blue, the sun is bright and the time is right. And so, after work, I skip the closest 7 or 8 subway stops and keep walking south on Broadway until the sidewalk disappears.

I weave my way through the dawdling tourists armed with cameras and the swift downtown workers eager to increase the distance between themselves and their cubicles. Before long I pass Bowling Green Park and for the first time realize that my initial thought now upon hearing "Bowling Green" is the subway stop and not the state university.

Eight minutes after leaving the office I cross into Battery Park and keep walking. The crowds remain, but the din of traffic quickly fades. Men are packing up their faux-designer purses, watches and sunglasses. Time to call it a day.

Finally. Upper New York Bay.

I'm used to the city's skyscrapers, block after block of nothing but buildings. It's the water, the waves, the sea breezes that I'm not yet accustomed to.

I skip the benches and press against the fence, the only thing separating me from the harbor.

For a few moments at least, my mind is as still as my feet as I take in the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island in the distance. I am alone among millions, silent among the sirens that permeate everyday life.

My problems aren't gone. No, far from it. I still have issues to work through, decisions to make.

But it's time to go home.

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