Tuesday, May 06, 2008
I had written on a napkin and where that napkin is now is anybody’s guess. Scribbled in blue ink was the description of the waitress, in a black dress with a plunging neckline and a pearl necklace knotted and pooled on her cleavage. I had written about the trains roaring beneath my feet and about the diffused light through the leaded glass windows soaring a hundred feet above me.
Monday afternoon, I rode the train from Summit, New Jersey, to New York City. Although my work has taken me to many cities in this country and in Europe, and I’m quite comfortable traveling on my own, this is the first time I’ve been in this city by myself and I had wondered if I could handle this city on my own. When I walked out of Penn Station and into the sunlight and hustle and noise and buildings and pace and scent of New York, the feeling was liberating and I knew I'd be just fine. I hailed a cab, threw my bags in, told the cab driver my destination and sat back for the ride.
We’re here, Mom. You’re home.
So I’m not really alone afterall. I have brought my mother with me. Just as I brought her to the city for her birthday two years ago, I have brought her for her birthday this year. And my gift to her is just that, to bring her home. To the city. To the city she was born, the city she loved, the city that never left the very definition of her. And tomorrow, on her birthday, I will release her, at last, in Central Park, near where she played as a child, where she told me stories upon stories of skating, walking and playing, near where she grew up and went to school. I will do this because I know her, because I love her, and because I believe this is where she belongs. Returning her here is my final gift to her.