I keep forgetting how much taller the buildings are here. Every time I glance up at the sky, I only see strips of the blue nature between the large metal masses that reach to scrape it.
Today I ventured out on my own, really being courageous and exploring the city on my own. I first went to Greenlight Books, a bookstore in Fort Greene. For my Writer’s Studio class I had to order numerous kinds of reading material, titles such as The Waves by Virginia Woolf, Housekeeping by Marilynne Robinson, and Elect Mr. Robinson for a Better World by Donald Antrim. I have never read any of these books, so my experiences concerning them will be new and plentiful. 🙂
After gathering up my books in a plain brown paper bag, I left the bookstore and hopped on the subway to head for Times Square. Last night I was determined to venture out and conquer the subway system…oh how naive I was.
I started out by getting onto the wrong subway, stepping onto the Q instead of the N (which I’m not at all sure how that happened considering they don’t intersect except at Coney Island Ave.). Once I realized I was on the wrong subway, I read my handy-dandy transit map on my iPod and saw that there was a place of transfer at Coney Island Ave., which happened to be the last stop on the Q. So I sat on the subway car for nearly half an hour, listening to music, reading the books in my bag, listening to the voices of the people around me, and making up stories about them in my head. There was one couple sitting right next to me having a conversation that I really enjoyed listening to; they were discussing the legalities of a court case, clearly attorneys. I replayed scenes from Touched by an Angel in my mind, remembering the episode when the angel named Monica (played by Roma Downey) was caught at a crime scene and tried for being a suspect in the crime. The two attorneys sitting next to me took the place of the one attorney who was defending Monica. I played their reactions through my head when they heard Monica’s claims of being an angel and then witnessing her proving the validity of her claims.
I ended up being able to maneuver the subway quite well, and after transferring at the right stop and onto the right subway, I arrived in Times Square. I realize this may seem really sappy to all of you native city people, but I nearly cried when I came out of the subway. The looming buildings glinting in the sunshine, the crowds of infinite diversity crossing the streets and blocking the sidewalks, and the magnificent screens and advertisements that decorated the square were all breathtaking. I never remembered Times Square being so intimidating.
I spotted a McDonalds and upon remembering that I was a poor college student figured that would be the best place to go first, for I was hungry and thirsty. Buying my meager sweet tea and McDouble for three dollars and four cents, I clumsily walked beneath the canopy of metallic skyscrapers, trying to drink, eat, take pictures, and hold onto my heavy bag of books all at once.
I hadn’t eaten fast food in nearly three weeks (which is a pretty long time considering my diet from back home) and I found myself feeling a little nauseated after consuming the salty burger. Regardless, I continued on in my exploration. It’s odd; I went into stores that I had visited before. I went into Toys R Us and was amused very much like a child in a candy store, which worked because there was an entire branch of Wonka candy and a Candy Land store where there was nothing but sweets.
I searched out the Legos, the Skylanders, even the Barbie just because I could, and I enjoyed every minute of it. Once I had had my fill of toyness, I left the store and ventured further into the square.
One of the things I haven’t quite gotten used to is slimy guys talking me as I walk by. The other day I went to Chelsea with a bunch of church friends and was hassled by two guys as I walked. How grateful was I that I was surrounded by friends! Today was sort of the same; one man was mildly hassling me about not being happy or some nonsense like that. But I’m slowly honing my skill of ignoring it and just staying surrounded by people.
I went into my two planned destinations: M&M’s World and Hershey’s Chocolate World. My favorite thing about M&M’s World was the walls of tubes filled with multicolored M&M’s. The merchandise was funny and inviting, much like the staff that welcomed every person that walked through the doors. Hershey’s Chocolate World wasn’t so much like that; the people didn’t seem very happy to be there, but they handed me a Hershey’s Kiss when I walked in, so their attitudes didn’t bother me. Besides, they had probably been there all day, were tired, and were maybe hungry from having to smell the thick scent of chocolate that soaked the air for so long.
Once I had my full of all things chocolate, I left and wandered about, wondering how exactly I was going to get home. After a while, I finally came upon the right subway station and I got on the CORRECT subway this time, not having any problems getting home whatsoever.
I was encouraged the entire time, which is really weird because normally, in a situation like that (one where I’m not really sure how to get home, where to go, who to ask, who not to ask, etc) I would be stressing and nearly on the verge of a mental breakdown…but I was fine? How? I’m going to call it a God thing, because it certainly was.
Speaking of God things, let me tell you about the first night of Bible Study. Well, only two people showed up and one of them was Charlene. But I was strangely excited about the fact that two people came. They seemed to appreciate my doing it, Bible Study I mean. I’m hoping that more people come this coming Thursday. Meanwhile, I’m here writing away, wondering what God plans to do with all of this, and wondering how on Earth I could possibly be the appropriate choice for this commencement.
I guess I’ll just have to wait.
“If plan A doesn’t work, just remember there are 25 other letters!”