Monday, February 11, 2008

The lighthouse

As soon as class ended today I took the subway to Penn Station, bought a ticket on New Jersey Transit, rode out to Newark Airport, took the AirTrain to Terminal C, and found my way to the Continental counter for a reunion with my old friend James. He had emailed the night before to say that his flight from Toronto to Barcelona had been rerouted through Newark, and -- because I hadn't seen him since last summer, because being a student drifting through my last semester of law school offers a degree of flexibility, and most importantly because of my personal vow to make all efforts to see James when he and I happen to be on the same continent -- I knew I had to be there.

There is something so restorative and energizing about spending time with somebody who knows you well, and with whom you can talk about both everything and nothing. We spent two hours sitting in some shitty little cafe in the baggage claim, drinking four-dollar Pepsis out of plastic bottles and watching people in sweatpants waddle to and fro, yet there's nowhere else I would have rather been.

One thing I love about the size and significance of New York is the fact that wherever you happen to be in the world, you can make your way to New York City. When L was spending a year in Greece I found a surprising degree of comfort in the fact that I knew that wherever she was, there would always be a flight, boat, a train, some kind of ride that would eventually bring her back to our city. And so it is now, with the friends who have scattered all over. I will live in the lighthouse, I will live in the beacon, with happiness and solace in the fact that the light from here is visible for a long, long ways. Until the next time. See you soon. Safe travels.

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