This week has been very turbulent to say the least. My brain has been racing with all the hypothetical life paths I could take. Should I settle down in an office job for the next couple of years and plan my wedding? Should I go back to school in January? Should I quit my sucky job as a fundraiser to pursue a passion project like this blog? With all these possible life paths swirling in my head, I began to yearn for the one place that truly feels like home to me: New York. I try to visit my friend Oliver there once a year, but with all this mayhem that I call a life, I haven’t been able to make the trip this year. New York is the one place in this world I’ve felt that I truly belong. Simply put: those are my people. My favorite thing in the world is just to ride the subway. I love catching glimpses at the variety of lives that all need to pass from Point A to Point B at X time. I imagine what the back story must be for each wacky chapter aboard the underground train. It’s my favorite pastime.
Here’s the story of my first trip to New York to capture just a taste of why I adore that city so.
First Trip to NYC-
Our first year of college Kevin and I devised a Spring Break trip to visit this lovable goofball out in New York. (Above pictured goofball is Oliver.) We could hardly contain our excitement as we descended upon the city. For two midwestern college students, Madison is a big city. Chicago is enormous. New York is an intangible cloud of hipster smoke. Something that you only speak of, but cannot be touched. Honestly, New York feels as close to Baraboo, Wisconsin as the planet Mars. Our first couple days there were honestly surreal. Despite our best efforts, we could not keep from staring upwards at the gorgeous buildings. We visited land marks that we had only seen in movies. Lucky for us, we had our own personal tour guide to drag our doe-eyed, awe-stricken faces around the city. Oliver made sure we go the “locals” experience. We visited Times Square at two am, when it is down right eerie to see all the signs lit up and flashing, but hardly anyone around to see them. Of course, we did all the essentials like see a Broadway play, visit central park, and gawk at art work in the MET and the MOMA. However, my favorite memories from our trip are actually from an activity that one can do just about anywhere: watching your best friend do funny shit after he gets wasted.
I probably should have mentioned from the beginning that the reason we flew to New York over Spring Break was because our break just happened to coincide with Oliver’s birthday. On Oliver’s birthday, we all pre-gamed at his apartment, continued to drink throughout our extravagantly decadent dinner, and kept on drinking at a hookah bar after that. By the time Kevin and I persuaded Oliver to leave the hookah bar, he was long gone in an uninhibited stupor of nonsense and an inability to stand on his own. Mind you, Oliver is a full foot taller than me, so with that in mind I beg you to imagine what it must have looked like for me to be fighting tooth and nail to hold him upright as his torso wobbled like a Weeble about to finally fall down. First stop, on our trek back to Oliver’s dorm, Oliver could not go a moment longer without pizza. It is only by divine intervention that Oliver did not throw up in the middle of that Joe’s Pizza. After we got Oliver to the building, we boarded the elevator, and as soon as the doors shut, Oliver started flinging himself against the walls of the elevator, much to the horror of the other occupant. She curled herself up into the corner to try to avoid being an accidental causality of Oliver’s drunken flailing, but I’m not sure it really made a difference. Once we reached his floor, the doors of the elevator opened to reveal our friend Spandi face-down on the floor. At this point there was no force of nature that could keep Oliver standing. He dove to the ground to join his companion in her napful watch. I was so startled to see Spandi like that, my first thought was that she was dead. Shortly after Oliver joined her on the floor though, she came to and explained that she had been waiting there for us to return.
Shortly thereafter, we put both of our drunken friends to bed. As we all fell asleep, Oliver enchanted us with stories all about his dating life in New York all in of its graphic glory. Not detail was spared as our inebriated friend wore himself out with tales of his Tinder matches and dates with the sons of millionaires. All and all, not a bad birthday celebration, and certainly a memorable trip.