Becoming Untied

R.B. Winters
R.B. Winters
All, Friends, Life, New York, San Juan Diaries Leave a Comment

I have a friend. Wow, that sounds pathetic. Let’s try it one more time. I have a newer friend, one of only a few months. He is preparing to move to New York City, having been born and raised in Puerto Rico. It’s exciting, a new adventure and I’m happy for him.

All of this got me thinking about New York. I love New York, and a decade ago if anyone dared to tell me I might live any place else, I would have spit in their face and called them a liar. Okay, maybe not spit in their face, but you get my point. There’s no place like NYC, maybe Dorothy should have clicked her lil shoes together and gone there instead of Kansas. She would have had more fun.

As I spend more time away from home, the dependencies created by the convenience  of the city are very clear. Life is hard in Puerto Rico. I say this in a way that requests no sympathy as you should not feel bad for my first-world ass. Delivery, 24-hour anything, on demand services, all of these things are what New Yorkers expect at all times. Living in a place where they are not only unavailable, but totally inconceivable is a life shift. It’s not a bad thing.

The more time I’m away, the more like a human being I become. New Yorkers, we’re not exactly human. By blood, yes. By nature and nurture, no. We avoid phone calls, eye contact and conversation with strangers. In Puerto Rico, people smile, look you in the eye and stop on the street to converse. I’m talking about strangers. This has been a paramount shift for me. I still jolt when a stranger rolls up in a car and attempts to strike up a conversation.

As I learn the ways of the real world, I’m attempting to share tips with my soon-to-be New York friend on what life is really like. It’s not walk in the park, but it’s worth the effort. While he’s running off to enjoy the dreams of my twenties, I’m still trying to figure out what the hell I want to do with my thirties. The more I become untied from New York, I think another, larger, move across water may satisfy my thirst for something. What is that something…