Perhaps this is the Right Place to Start the Story..
Perhaps this is the right place to start the story. Right is such a funny word. But, you know what I mean, don’t you? Columbus Circle, New York City, Year 2011. I mean what other setting could be more typically authentic for the story of an Americanized immigrant than midtown Manhattan and its organized chaos? But, my story, this story, has very little to do with New York City. In fact, if anything this story is one of the loss of time and space altogether.
You know, I have lately started to like New York, because it makes me feel the very skin of the person who I feel I have grown to become: a lost exiled immigrant who looks more Americanized than anything else really perhaps. It is not like Washington DC where it gives me the illusion of one day climbing up the ladder of power with the help of my story and growing to become a serious American politician of sorts; a feeling that admittedly used to intoxicate me with one million dreams. It is also not like Cambridge, Massachusetts where I went to Harvard University and where one lives the illusion of being among the few intelligent minds of the world; a feeling that I admittedly embraced for some years. New York makes me feel like a commoner; even worse like an immigrant commoner who is going to have to start from point zero over and over again and never really reach the top or perhaps never really aspiring to reach the top. Now, I know I sound like an elitist woman who tries to resemble the sound of the masses. Don’t ask me why I have this feeling. I just somehow do. It could be the greatness of New York or somehow the invisibility that it grants the people or its particular rhythm. Whatever it is, it is only recently that I have begun to feel the the pulse of this town beating against mine or against millions rather. It is a rough feeling and an irritatingly honest one. It is like a man that does not know romance, but knows love, a man that does not know how to pamper you or rather does not think that pampering you is necessary, but knows how to love you better than all other men in the world or at least that is what you think.
Somehow sitting here today in my formal suit, waiting for work meetings and biting on a large slice of pizza while holding a second slice in my other hand, I feel the way I think I should have felt all these years: numb. I feel numb and therefore liberated. I feel I don’t belong to this place nor to any other place really. One tear drops from my left eye right on my ravaged slice of pizza. I blame it on the wind; the deceiving warm breeze of November that has been procrastinating in turning freezing cold.
I feel full. It is such a warm November day here in the city. I feel sleepy and lazy. I look at a homeless guy who is sleeping across the street and envy him for his deep sleep. It has been now almost a month that I have not been able to really sleep. My sleep has become as light as a feather; that’s only when I actually do fall asleep. Some Chinese woman at the other side of the circle shouts out somebody’s name and for some silly reason I hear her say my name in a Chinese accent. I get up and look around to see which of my long list of shadow-like friends have bumped into me and soon I realize it is the reunion of two Chinese ladies on the other side of the square and their excitement has nothing to do with me.I miss the days when I was certain that I were the center of the universe. I don't remember how and when my bubble burst. It must been hard to wake up from that dream. I do not really recall. Mild Alzheimer, I repeat the mild kind, could be a blessing at times.
Well, in any case, I said to you that I want to tell you some story. But, honestly, I wonder if you are even interested. It could be quite an arbitrary story. It certainly feels so damn irrelevant to where I am sitting as we speak. You must have heard these stories a million times. I mean looking around me here in this town, there must be at least some few million stories like the one that I wish I had the time to tell you. Maybe some other time! But, right now, I am enjoying the invisibility that this city has granted me. I have to run to my meeting. New York is a wonderland, but oh my, I miss Tehran so much. I heard it snowed there today. I wish I could just touch that silky snow of Tehran; this is just me romanticizing the snow that perhaps has already turned grey in the pollution of Tehran. I wonder if my dad was able to feel the snow this time around. It must have sat on his gravestone. I hope he enjoyed the fresh feeling of it. I am late for my meeting.