Crossroads — Part 2
After making the arrangements to meet for dinner, I headed to my office. I’d been planning on taking the subway, but it was so surprisingly beautiful and cool out, that I walked instead. When I got there, there was a message waiting me from another friend from college, another one I hadn’t seen since graduation, my friend K. K and I had some French lit classes together our first couple of years at college and an acting class too. Freshman year we had to do a scene together from I Remember Mama in a class taught by a woman who in the 70s had been involved with the Living Newspaper project, and who encouraged us to be politically active and join the sit-in at our college’s administration building to protest the college’s investments in South Africa. I was disconcerted by a professor encouraging me to do something I wasn’t sure I wanted to do, something I didn’t really know that much about. But I went, partly because I didn’t want to be the only one who didn’t and partly because I was interested to see what would happen. And it was interesting. But also not for me.
A couple of years ago, through an offhand remark on F@cebook, I discovered that K worked with my friend M. M and I went to grad school together. In fact, he was one of the very first people I met there. When they flew me out to see the campus after they made me an offer (which, as it turned out, I couldn’t refuse), he was one of the students assigned to show me around the place. I’ve seen M more recently, probably at a musicology conference — we couldn’t remember. But in any case, K and M were both in town and asking if I wanted to meet them in the late afternoon.
As it happened, I’d already planned to take the afternoon off to look at apartments. At 1 p.m., I packed up my desk and hopped on the F train to Brooklyn, where I met with a real estate agent I’d met through a parents group on the internet. She took me to see an apartment that was halfway decent and, by New York standards, reasonably priced and in the neighborhood we’re interested in. But that was the only one available and we aren’t quite ready to make a decision. We worry about not having a place to live, but we don’t want to be rushed. I did get a lot of good information about schools though, and a map of Brooklyn neighborhoods.
I finished up earlier than expected and headed back to Manhattan, where I met K and M at a Turkish restaurant in Midtown. It was strange to see them together. They’ve known each other for years, but I know them from two separate places. When things like this happen, I realize how much I tie my relationships to geography. We caught up on families and work, drank strong, sweet Turkish coffee and ate many unnameable things that could be spread on pita bread. Afterwards, I walked them toward their bus stop in front of the hotel where I auditioned for Peril! and headed uptown to meet B and AG.
I walked past Steinway Hall and Carnegie Hall, past Columbus Circle and up the side of the park before finding the building. B’s sister, B later informed me, is a venture capitalist and she keeps the palatial apartment as a pied-a-terre, now that she lives on the other side of the country. B’s daughter L was overcome with jetlag and was crashed out on the sofa in the den for the duration. B and AG and I sat around the table eating cheese and sausage and bread and fruit and drinking wine and talking for hours, every so often stopping to marvel at how we were all in the same room for the first time since half our lives ago. Amazing.
The subway home was long and quiet. Plenty of time to rehash a remarkable day. When I got back, I realized we had to make a decision. Was it going to be the suburbs or Brooklyn? As much as it terrifies me that I may not have a place to live, that I may not fine anything we can afford, we picked Brooklyn. Time to get serious. Time to get moving. Time to pray for a smooth selling process from here on out.