Leaving New York

13 11 2009

I left New York after the Labor Day weekend. Barry was back teaching in Berkeley, Omar had moved to Iowa and Shaun was still collecting unemployment in Queens.

The summer in the City had taken its physical toll. All of the walking produced a realization that I am not 25 anymore.  Mentally, it was challenging as well. Shelter should never be taken for granted.

I have spent the last couple of months recovering from New York. Going to the Beach, riding my bike and writing. Old Man Winter will be here soon.

I have made plans to visit family in Texas. Life springs anew there. My brother is now a father. Dillan Kate McDonald celebrated her first birthday in August. Courtney, the proud mother, sent a photo of Dillan in my birthday card. She is beautiful. Blue eyes, golden hair and a smile that will warm the heart of the coldest journalist.

We will travel to Dallas via automobile. No Greyhound this time. Mr. Smith has taken care of the arrangements. He makes this trip every year. Without his help, I would not be able to see Dillan. New York broke me.

“That’s what they say about New York,” Omar told me. “It either welcomes you with open arms or chews you up and spits you out.”

New York did chew on my spirit pretty good. But now I must get back in the saddle and ride again. The lessons learned in the City will no doubt serve us well out West.

There are a couple of tasks that must be dealt with before the trip. Meetings with doctors and lawyers, of course, and brunch with Goede, my trusted director friend.

We have brunched for several years now and the meetings are always enlightening. Goede got a front row seat to my last flameout and, to his credit, has stuck around to help pick up the pieces.

He can be tough and brutally honest and many times I have regretted not following his advice more sincerely. Goede warned not to quit my job at the newspaper.

“There is a recession coming, John, some say we are already in it,” he advised.

Unfortunately, I did not listen.

Next week, Goede and I will meet before I leave for Texas. Through our e-mail communications, he has informed me that I have a few questions to answer and it is important that we brunch in an atmosphere conducive for listening.

This time I will be prepared.

 

 

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