Friday, April 06, 2007


I went out of town for a few days earlier in the week and met up with some friends from back home who were visiting family in New Jersey. It took a plane, a subway, and a metro train to get there. Their sons are now ages 2 and 4 and have grown so much since I lived with them last year. It was a noisy two-day visit and I was quickly reminded of all of the noise that goes along with living with toddlers. We did not do anything special, just visited for a couple of days.

J and I went to college together, both on pre-med tracks. Somewhere along the way she got married, went into nursing, and started raising a family of her own. I think that there's always a bit of awkwardness between us now. When she looks at me, she wonders what it would be like to still be single and going through residency training. She sees me struggle and I think that she's happy with her decision for the most part.

When I look at her, I think of the people I pushed away to get to this point, always afraid of getting attached to someone. Most of the time I think that I am happy with my decision, but every now and then she makes me question it. Overall, I guess I feel like all of this education and training has kind of put my life on hold. I'm at the point where I can finally start having more say in what I do, and where I'm going as far as this whole career thing goes. I think that the present and the future look good, but much of the time I am not sure whether or I would choose the same path if I had to do it all over again. I suppose that doesn't really matter, and I should just quit looking back.


On the way home, I hit Manhattan at rush hour. As I walked up the stairway to the street at Penn Station, commuters were streaming down the stairs in the opposite direction. There was a nonstop flow of people, like ants swarming out of a nest once it has been stepped on. They were lined up, tightly shoulder to shoulder, like the Greeks with their war formations, but instead of working together for the greater good, it was every man for himself.

On 34th street, crowds were gathered on either side of the street. There was the sharp sounds of a police officer's whistle and lots of honking. From within the crowd I heard someone say there had been an accident and a person had been hit by a taxi. I strained to get a better look. I couldn't see anything. I didn't know if I could be of any help, but I knew if I just kept walking away I would feel guilty about it for the rest of the night.

It must have taken me a few minutes to work my way across the street and through the crowd. Finally, I got close enough to see what appeared to be a teenager laying on her back, with her arms folded across her chest. She was talking to woman crouched by her side and seemed fairly calm. There didn't look like there was any bleeding or gross deformity. By this time, the sirens had become louder. An ambulance turned the corner. My plan had been just to ask if they needed any help, but she looked pretty stable, and other than keeping her still until she could be checked out further, there was nothing to do. Then, I left.


I took a long subway ride to the airport after first stopping at a pricey soap/cosmetic store that one of my friends has raved about. If you have a smelly subway ride in your near future, I highly recommend traveling with a bagful of bath products. There's nothing quite like a mixed bag of "bath bombs" to wipe out that gross sweaty smell of the train car.


Since I had given myself generous amounts of time to not only get back to the city, but get to the airport, I arrived at JFK 3 hours before my flight. This, of course, ensured that my flight was delayed yet another hour. On the plus side, I had plenty of time to get all of my journal articles read for conference the next day! This was my first trip flying on Jet Blue. While it's true that there is more leg room, and free personal cable TV for each seat, I would have gladly traded these amenities had I been able to avoid the turbulence and near-death experience I had just prior to landing!


I think it is quite possible that I need a vacation from my vacation!

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