I got to visit one of my favourite cities last month. What felt like a dream is finally starting to sink in as reality. I got to meet a lot of nice people from way back (it’s weird that I can say that now about folks that aren’t my parents’ friends) and new people, that I can’t really consider as friends but it was nice to know them for a brief moment in time.
My plan as always was to eat at the same places as much as possible so I can feel like I live there and to walk. And to people watch. I walked, shopped at the farmer’s market, made a salad, found my neighbourhood restaurant and bagel shop and just enjoyed falling asleep to the sounds of traffic. It’s been a while!
Once I figured out how to use the subway, there was no stopping me. I have no pro tips, except to figure out which direction you’re going in do you don’t have to keep changing platforms once you realise it’s the wrong one. I saw some great art and theatre by local folks – all so resonant with my current state of being that I could almost cry – and I did!
One particularly beautiful moment occurred when I was taking the subway for the second to last time, on my way to see my friend and dog friend. I walked down the stairs and a musician on his guitar was playing as trains screeched to a halt and departed on either side of him. One of those trains was mine, I was right on time. Then he started playing “Fast Car“, by Tracy Chapman.
That was one of my dad’s favourite songs. He had her cassette and as a child, I was fascinated by the tape deck we had at home. I was always playing whatever we had shoved on either side of it, regardless of whether the tape was mildewed or not. Tracy Chapman’s tape was one of the ones that worked. I remember my father saying she was his girlfriend and of course I believed him but I was also very confused as a child because I always thought it was a man’s singing voice.
I didn’t get on that train. But I took the next one, glad for the little hello from the parental unit.