During the three weeks I recently spent back in the States, it was a conversation with Business that helped me realize I’ve not been clear with my friends. When I came to Puerto Rico it was to be for the winter, six months max, then back to the city. Ideally, I was going to spend my winters here and my summers in New York, it was as though I was skipping to my golden years long before the arthritis.
As usual, life never goes to plan. I enjoy Puerto Rico. It’s warm, there are fewer people, no one pays me much mind, and I am generally left to my own devices. In New York, it’s the exact opposite…which was great in my twenties. New York made me want to write about everything I was doing, seeing, experiencing, and all the people around me and their craziness.
Puerto Rico doesn’t drive me to write about those things, but makes it seem as though there are other things to write about. Which is why I’ve been back on the fiction track lately. Obvious book plug above.
This tiny island is amazing. It’s warm and beautiful. Something right off of a postcard. But it was when Business asked me, “when are you coming home…” that I had to come to terms and share the new reality. I’m not going home to New York. At least, not any time this decade.
If you asked five years ago, there was no conceivable future I could imagine where I wasn’t central to New York. It was everything, not to say it’s suddenly not. NYC is, and will always be home. The loss of some friends, the moving of others, has dwindled the personal ties. Now the thing most tying me to New York is my love of the place itself. Big buildings towering overhead, the bustle, the sounds, the speed. It’s fucking magical.
Puerto Rico was culture shock in an unexpected way. I’m learning a new language, new customs, and this place has inspired me to change my five-year plan, which we are already one year into and counting. Puerto Rico is my forever second home, but I have my sights set on a third home: Spain! I’ll keep making my way around the globe until I’m a wrinkled old man, and then, then I shall make my return to New York!
Business didn’t seem pleased with my new life goals, but at least I’ll always have a room for him wherever I travel. As he always has for me when I want to run home for a weekend visit. Who knew there was more for a New Yorker beyond the confines of our lovely little island of Manhattan.