Yesterday, I found some old forgotten photos from a cell phone I no longer have and sent to an e-mail address I no longer use. They were taken right before we left New York, just before my thousand days of blogging began.
We had just finished the long and tedious process of selling our apartment and divesting of all the things we didn't need. These were the days just before the beginning, when we were mired down with saying goodbye and had no idea what lay ahead of us.
This is my cat Paloma. Lila is giving her a last goodbye kiss at the vet's office.
I found Paloma at the ASPCA on 5th Avenue on the Upper East Side when she was three months old. She lived with me through college, my first apartment in NYC. Marriage. A move to Brooklyn. Pregnancy. Newborn. Paloma patiently bore the wrath of toddlers running rampant through the apartment, grabbing her tail. She was sick once in her life and that once was complete renal failure. The vet suspected all the excitement of packing and an inadvertant change in food were too much for her aging body.
I remember this particular day even more clearly, because 7am the morning this photo was taken, we received a call to say that during the night Noah's grandmother, Grandma Ruth had passed away. Noah took Lila home right afterward, and I stayed while Paloma was put to sleep.
Then I took a long walk listening to Sufjan Stevens before going home to pack our suitcases and fly to Atlanta for Grandma Ruth's memorial service.
This next photo I took while waiting for the 2/3 train to arrive at Borough Hall in Brooklyn.
I was on my way to my very first Couchsurfing meeting. It was one of the last times I ever took the subway, and I felt that as a landmark as acutely as the nervousness I felt about going to some random bar on the Lower East Side to meet a group of strangers from Couchsurfing.
I met a couple from Iowa, now living and acting in New York City, although they traveled pretty extensively for work as well. I met a 22 year old guy who had just been living in Prague. And a cool woman named Jennifer who had just been to her first Burning Man.
Noah, Lila and I were living in a rented apartment, where I didn't feel comfortable inviting strangers since it wasn't really our place. (Now, I wouldn't care) The owners of that place sent their friends around with regularity to check up on us and make sure we weren't ruining their things or doing things we weren't supposed to do. It was an uncomfortable situation.
This third photo comes from a goodbye brunch we had with all the families we knew from the neighborhood. It was at Pacifico restaurant early one Sunday morning. Too early for all the non-childed folk of the neighborhood to even consider being awake on a weekend. So we had the place to ourselves.
The kids sat lined up at the bar watching cartoons on the TV while the most awesome bartender ever served them drinks and snacks. Apparently, he used to be a nanny, so he was fabulous with the kids. Pacifico, itself, got a bit punchy though. Something about worrying they'd lose their liquor license because of minors seated at the bar (I mean. Really?).
There's something funny about old photos, especially when you haven't seen or thought about them in a long time. They carry with them a shock of emotion, bringing back the past to life for just a brief moment. And like a smell or strain of music, evaporates quickly as you incorporate the past into the now.
But for just a brief time, I again feel the cold February wind as I wandered the streets of Brooklyn between the vet's office and our house. Or that amusement bubbling from the bit of my belly as I saw all our three year olds on bar stools ordering another juice. Or how amazing was that first bite of salmon taco?
What I can't quite grasp is who I was then.
It's only been 1000 days, and yet those days of travel have changed everything. I am no longer the person I was then. They way I think, the manner in which I relate to other people, all different. Saying hello to strangers or goodbye to old friends have become part of my daily landscape.
I look at this photo taken by Ali. We celebrated Lila's first four birthdays with famous John's pizza on Bleeker followed by a walk to Magnolia Bakery. Then to the park where we played on the jungle gyms and ate banana pudding with Nilla wafers.
And while I know just what I was thinking by the look in my eyes, I no longer understand why I was thinking it.So tell me, where were you 1000 days ago? What were you eating? Or wearing? Who were you then and how has your life moved?
What will the next 1000 days bring?