Around 12:30 in the morning on what was technically Friday, March 22nd, I curled under my covers and squeezed Pistachio, my stuffed animal polar bear against my chest. I was all kinds of tired. But I kept replaying the scene that had taken place an hour before. And I decided to write it out publicly on The Smile Project’s Instagram story.
People were really kind toward it, forgiving the three typos that occur when one is writing a story from under the covers on a tired weeknight. I’ve decided to reprint those words here exactly as was written that late hour, sans grammatical errors:
So I’ve got a story. It’s 11 pm and I’m headed back to my apartment for the first time since this morning.
I’m a little sleepy.
Trains are skipping my station which means I can get off 30 blocks early or 20 blocks late and either walk or take the bus.
I decide to get off 20 blocks past my apartment and walk. I can always catch the bus if necessary.
It’s raining but I have a lot on my mind and I’m looking forward to the quiet walk to think.
Shortly into my walk, the bus drives past. It stops to let on a passenger and I could very easily hop on, but I find myself saying out loud and to nobody in particular: “I only have ten blocks left, I might as well walk.”
As the bus pulls away, I think about how I can walk quicker than a bus anyway.
At the next block, I realize I’m still 15 blocks away from my apartment and still not very good at math.
I’m walking parallel to the bus now, feeling weirdly proud of myself for keeping pace with it.
By a series of well-timed traffic lights, I’ve even managed to pull ahead a bit. This reassures my decision to walk.
Then it starts to rain harder.
Then the bus starts to get farther and farther away.
Then I finally hit 10 blocks from my apartment.
Then I realize I can’t walk faster than the bus.
And I’m watching this bus get away when something inside of me at 11:30 pm on a Thursday night in the pouring rain tells me to race it.
And I listen.
I take off down the hill. Full on sprinting in my work dress. Kicking puddles onto my leggings and flailing my arms with each step.
And I’m booking it. And I’m catching up to the bus which of course I have no chance of catching at this point but I’m going for it anyway.
And then I’m laughing.
I’m laughing and panting and I can’t stop.
And all those thoughts I couldn’t quiet in my head on the train ride home are now focused on coordinated jumps through puddles and I am laughing.
I get to an intersection where I have to stop and catch ragged breath and long for a dry towel to fix my water-logged eye glasses.
And I look down the sloshy streets of the city I’ve called home for over three years.
And the first thing I think of is how nice it will be to take off my wet socks.
And I don’t have any profound realizations.
I don’t come to any meaningful conclusions.
Nothing feels magically resolved.
But I have just danced through the rain at 11:30 pm on a Thursday night in Manhattan.
And I feel a moment of joy that makes me feel energized again.
And I come home and shed layers of wet dress clothes. I get ready for bed. I carry on like a normal night.
Because it is.
A normal night with a dash of wonder.
And a little bit of rain water.