Thanks to most of my important, formative years carelessly spent at the movies and watching sitcoms, the island of Manhattan was an extremely familiar sight even though I’ve stayed eight thousand miles away from it until a few months ago. It’s what all the fairy tales tell you meeting your soulmate is supposed to feel like – a brand new person you know you’ve never met yet certain sights and avenues feel so familiar as if they’ve been home all along. I’ve watched Spider-man swing through the skyscrapers, Ted Mosby obsess about its skyline, King Kong obliterate Broadway and scale the Empire State in a few leaps and a disorientated Steve Rogers stumble through Times Square as Fury and his minions swarm around him. This was my state of mind as we planned for a trip to New York City for new year’s eve of 2020. What more could it offer, right?
Three freezing days, aching feet and eight hundred pictures later, I can now tell you all the ways in which I was wonderfully wrong.
Would it not be great if we could clip our flaws like hair or nail,
and they’d grow back clean for us to be better again?
And if that were the case do you ever wonder,
when all’s cut and done, what would even remain?
So I made a list of all that to remove, bone from sinew.
To care about a cause that holds no personal reward,
refrain from hearsay and back-fence talk.
To seed integrity and grow a garden of faith,
won’t undo history but there’s at least hope for green ahead.
A caveman in routine – rise, work and fall with the sun,
A sage in impulse – think with the head. No, not that one.
After all, pleasure is reserved for the deserving,
what have you ever done?
To devour words and craft a hundred delicacies,
unearth new tunes and maybe even newer people.
To rein in thoughts yet leave dreams uncaged.
Revel in solitude but please keep the drawbridge down –
for the goal is to be happy alone, not unknown.
To free these hands of phones,
and make space for another to hold.
If all else fails, to just be a little better.
Hopefully this time next year, this list is much shorter.