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September Surrender: Day 24

What I’m Letting Go: Slam Dunk Safety Check

In a week, I’ll be heading to Italy. It still doesn’t feel real. I don’t even have a suitcase big enough for a week in Europe. But there is one at my parents’ house. I’m going back again since I couldn’t be there this weekend to help with the medical bed. We’re meeting with homecare workers tomorrow, which I’d want to be there for anyway. So it’s no problem. I just have so much left to this week do before I’m out of the country. But first, I needed a coffee.

There’s a Dunkin’ just an avenue over from me. Getting it delivered didn’t even cross my mind. I want to be in a place where all my delivery apps are deleted, as I don’t want to enable this illegality that goes on with the “deliveristas.” I’ve seen one too many block gatherings of people just idling on motorbikes, waiting for a delivery call and I don’t like it one bit. So I put on my raincoat and house shoes and toddled out to the street.

Sometimes there are men who hold the doors open at fast food joints, as the employees inside don’t care. I assume they’re homeless, but who’s to say anymore. I get very uncomfortable having these men hold the door open for me, as I know they’re going to expect money once I leave the store. I just say thank you under hushed breath and take off, as that’s as far as I’m willing to go. So when I saw there was a man outside of Dunkin, I braced myself for what I needed to do.

Turns out, the man was lured away by a woman passing by who held out a dollar for him. He took it, thanked her, said it was going to be for cigarettes, and told her to “Keep it sexy.” I used this moment to grab the door handle as fast as I could to get inside, my mobile order awaiting my arrival. If anyone was trying to get in after me, I’m sorry. I grabbed the large cold brew, checked the receipt, and turned to get out. The man was still outside but was occupied by another person. A separate man came up to him and gave him a hug, giving me enough time to crack the door open and squeeze myself out before he could grab it open. The two men sounded like they knew one another, but only from a surface level street view. I walked away hearing the unofficial doorman say it’s good to see him, and for God to bless him, etcetera, etcetera. No idea if the second man was coming into Dunkin’, no clue if there was anyone behind me. I had officially made it out of there and did it on my own.

It was then I realized it’s okay to just get to where I’m going sometimes, even if it’s not always the “nicest” route to take. I have to let go of this need to always be polite when I can just be not rude instead. I don’t need to justify the actions I take in order to be safe in this unknown city, because I’m not going to push and shove my way around it. I’ll simply go, sneak past anyone I need to and not make a scene on the way out. I won’t purposefully slam the door in your face, I’m just on a mission every time I step onto those mean streets. Because I don’t’ feel safe out there right now. If you know anything about current-day New York City, can you really blame me? Does America run on Dunkin’ or is it just me running out of one?

What I’ve Discovered: Winter is Coming

My house shoes weren’t the best choice today. It’s been raining for at least a week. I prefer not to use an umbrella when I’m dressed down. Different story when I’m in my work clothes. But when I’m just running out it’s fine to slum it up a bit. Only when I got outside, it was just a drizzle. I didn’t need my hood. I preferred to feel the wind running across my face. I stood at a stoplight. My pants were rolled up past my knees as I didn’t want to get the cuffs wet, but it also gave me a chance to air out this nuclear-sized mosquito bite on my left calf. That’s also what I needed to get: some insect-bite relief at the CVS. I haven’t shaved my legs in a week, which was made obvious when I felt the wind blow through each individual strand. It’s a funny thought, a field of fuzz blowing in the breeze. I had an inkling of wanting a bagel and to break my diet for a second and might have actually done so if the nearby bagelry wasn’t packed to the gills. It’s been like that since it opened this year. So I walked past, the wind brushing my hair into my face, covering it up, sticking it to my cheeks. When I turned the corner, my hair blew up off my face, the wind striking me, blowing my curls upward. It was a city-induced glamor shot, taken by my own little vignette running through my head.

Then it hit me. Fall is officially here. A new season begins with so much left to witness. The final quarter of the year is right around the corner, beginning with a month known for its surprises. And I’m going to be right there bringing you the news, with as much detail as I would describe a rainy September Sunday. When I get back from Italy, of course. A lot can happen in just a week. So be sure to stay tuned in for the latest on that because I’m sure you don’t want to miss a single episode this season.

What I Hope to Find: See You At My Place

I’m just bitter. I know I am. I must weird people out as I look down at their clasped hands, watching them walk together as I wonder why two people even want to spend time around another. How does that happen? How do you just decide you want to hang out? And who the hell would ever want to do that with me?

These little slices of city life do feel good in their own way. I can make an adventure out of a ten-minute trip outside my four walls. But when I’m done being out, there is simply no one to come home to. That was my choice, I know that. But it doesn’t stop me from wondering about the rest of them out there. Is everybody happy? Have they found the love of their lives? Can they safely say that after telling the world they did?

I simply do not understand it. Perhaps I’m just that much of a loner, but it just doesn’t feel like anyone would ever want that with me. Who’d want to go home with a nutcase who covers her eyes every time she enters the CVS so the security cameras don’t see her coming in? As if it makes me invisible. Not like there aren’t street cameras watching my every move. Doesn’t stop me from flipping up my hood so the self-checkout cameras won’t see me buying toilet paper and some Chiggerex. Why would you want to know that person at all?

I hope one day there is a reason someone would want to see me come home. To know I’m there to stay just as much as I know they are. It’s not that it seems impossible, I just sometimes question if it’s something I even want. Lately I’m just thinking about my baby, whenever and however she gets here. That’s the only person right now who’d be happy Mommy’s home. And perhaps my future will show me I never have to leave home ever again. My trip to Italy will be the only homecoming I’ll need outside the one I’ve built for us here.

If only I could get on board with feeling like I deserve a vacation right now. I feel like the news cycle is just about to get good. Oh well, you’ll have to just do it without me. It could be a whole new world the next time I touch down in New York. Might as well enjoy the loner life while it lasts.

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