Wednesday, October 06, 2004

Autumn in New York

Manhattan seems to be the only place in the world in which you have nearly unlimited dining options, but still find yourself saying "there's nothing to eat around here." I was out to lunch with a friend this afternoon, and as we wandered around, we passed every option imaginable. Within one block there was Mexican, Chinese, Japanese, Pan-Asian, American, Indian, French, Italian, Swedish, and Brazilian...and this list doesn't even include the myraid of fast food options like McD's, Wendy's, Burger King, Ranch 1, and Cosi. Despite the paralyzing list of options - or perhaps because of it - nothing grabbed our attention. There is always the old stand-by cobb salad, but I've eaten so many of them recently as part of my new fitness quest that I feel like Bugs Bunny.

About a block from my office building, there's a small park. It sits in a cut-out between two buildings, and it has a waterfall built along the back of an adjoining apartment building. (I sometimes wonder if the sound of running water relaxes or annoys the tenants. Then again, perhaps they've grown so accustomed to the noise that they don't even hear it any longer.) Anyway, we wound up walking over there. We each grabbed a glass of lemonade from the refreshment stand and we sat at a table near the waterfall. The smell of chlorine wafted through the air - something I'd imagine doesn't happen all that much at a real waterfall. Rather than talking, we just watched the water and became lost in our own thoughts. For the first time in the past two months, I felt at peace.

There is something to be said for spending time with a person with whom you truly feel comfortable. It's nice to be able to sit quietly without feeling alone, and know that the person you are with believes in you and likes you for who you are without making any demands on you. We wound up sitting there for nearly two hours before the sounds of construction on the building next door broke us from our reverie and reminded us that we should get back to our respective jobs. I walked my friend back to work and as we said goodbye, she gave me a quick, chaste hug, and told me that there is nothing wrong with me, and that I'm a very special person who deserves to be happy. I haven't spoken with her about any of my recent troubles, but she is the kind of friend that can sense when things aren't going well for me, and always seems to know exactly what to say to make things just a little better.

Autumn is a time of change. The leaves drop off of the trees, flowers wither and die, birds leave for warmer climes, and the days turn cooler. Some people find these changes, and the coming onset of winter, depressing, but today I felt a renewed sense of hope, with that came the feeling that the worst of the storms have passed. I don't know what the future holds for me, but I do know that no matter what it is, I'll be just fine.