I left NY in December of 1997, thinking that I was through with the city and that I would never return.
God, as usual, had other plans. The first of which involved getting me sober. Then, after two years of small town recovery, I found myself working for a lawyer at a law firm in Plainsboro, New Jersey. I loved it. It was a 10 minute drive to work.
Then, one day, he came in and said, "we're going back to the city." It was so much more money than I was making (which was already more money than I thought I'd ever earn again), that I jumped at it. Besides, he promised me that it would only be for three years.
Through thick and thin and 9/11 and blackouts I continued to commute. I cleaned up the financial wreckage my drinking had caused. I put a few bucks away in a 401-k. I even bought a new car.
But commuting was taking its toll. I haven't really been living in either world. I have friends in New York whom I only see for an hour in the morning. I have friends at home whom I only see for a few brief moments on weekends. I'm constantly torn between the two worlds. The world where once I'd had everything and lost it, and the world where God gave me my life back.
But always from day one back in the City, despite my terror of being sucked into one of my old haunts and being "struck drunk" again, I had a feeling of "home" that was always lacking back down in Hightstown.
I've lived like this for six and a half years. Up at 4:53 a.m. every weekday morning, on a 6:10 a.m. bus into Manhattan. A morning visit with a bunch of like-minded people for an hour, followed by a day at the office. A trek to the Port Authority at 5:30, aboard a 5:45 bus, arriving back in Hightstown at 6:45 p.m. Exhausted, I pull out whatever junk is available in the fridge and park myself in front of the TV for two and a half hours before lumbering off to bed.
Lather, rinse, repeat.
Then, last Friday morning, as I was standing at the corner of 53rd & Park waiting for the light to change, it finally hit me. "I'm not done with this City."
It was such a little statement in my head. But it had enormous implications for me.
Not done?? What else is there to "do"? I don't know. I haven't thought that far ahead yet. I've worked in radio, tv, publishing, finance and law. What other mischief can I get up to? I'm sure there's something!!!!
This is a great big city with great big possibilities, and those possibilities don't end simply because of age. Or bottoms.
There are a few things I do need to be doing, that I'm not doing now, and which could be done if I moved back here. Number One of which is "have a social life." Let's face it, Hightstown isn't exactly Chelsea when it comes to the available, gay, dating pool. And it would aid my recovery enormously, too.
All of a sudden I'm coming up with a million reasons why it would be a good idea for me to move back into New York, and a million reasons why I should leave my safety net in New Jersey.
But the very first thing I need to do is to call my sponsor and tell him all about this.
So he can tell me how crazy I am.