My day started out at 5 a.m. in the bright sky under Hoboken, New Jersey.
I miss Manhattan. I miss the unpredictability of the city. I miss its noises and its smells. Its pace and its variety. Its openness, its comforts and its harshnesses. Manhattan is like a person, an old, great friend I haven't seen in years but still it greets you like you saw it just yesterday and it hasn't changed a bit. It doesn't notice how you've changed, and still it welcomes you back, just as you are. It has a million friends but you are just as special as everyone single one of them. It still wears the same "perfume," it still has the same voice, never ages or changes or gives you the business. It lets you come and go as you please and it doesn't mind a bit.
I miss it so much it hurts.
I had stayed the night across the river in Hoboken, New Jersey, with a good friend, so I went back to her house, packed up, got dressed and said my goodbyes, headed out the door back to Manhattan to catch the train to Long Island for a wedding.
Up and down the stairs a million times with all my luggage and the sweating. (I don't miss that part.)
As I'm crossing the street toward the train station, I hear a huge collective gasp and a stir of dozens of people and as I turn to look, I see a man had just gotten hit by a tour bus. I'm shaking, I grab my luggage and run to the nearest officer and explain to him that there is a man under the bus. That he'd just gotten hit.
I'm shaking. I'm in tears. I'm praying. I can't release the image from my mind.
Dozens of people gather around this man as people try to figure out what to do. I don't know what to do, but he is being helped and paramedics and police are there and I leave, shaken.
I get on my train headed toward Long Island, but I'm numb. I'm still praying for this person who somehow ended up under this bus and I'm thinking about life and its twists and turns and all our vulnerabilities and fragility. It scares me. Life can change in just an instant.
I google for a headline trying to find out more about this man and how he's doing and find nothing, so I search on Twitter for "hit by bus." There are a lot of people who feel like they've been hit by a bus and as I scroll through them all, I see that someone had not only witnessed the accident, but taken a picture of it and Tweeted it. I have terribly mixed feelings about this because I cannot picture myself ever taking a picture of a man underneath a bus and Tweeting it. But I am comforted a little when I refresh and see this same Tweeter also sent a 2nd picture of this man, and he is ok.
And I thank God. He is ok. He's sitting up and he's ok.
A few hours later, I'm calm. I find myself at the wedding, at the beginning of a new life for two beautiful people. A beautiful ceremony filled with tears, the happy ones, hugs and so much love and friendship it gives me chills. Surrounded by hopefulness, happiness, and beginnings.
I cannot believe how many things that just one day can bring. How many things these eyes can see, how many of life's twists and turns I can witness, just little old me.
Quite a day, but no surprise. This was my Friday in New York.
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