Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Once again, it’s story time.

Grab some snacks, a 40, and sit down while I tell my tale.

It was Christmas time once again. It’s been part of my tradition for the last few years to spend a weekend in New York City during this time of year. The air is cold and crisp, the streets and stores are beautifully decorated, the giant tree is lit with children skating at the Rockefeller center, and my annual showing on the Today show draws me back year after year.

Also, as part of the tradition, I usually bring or meet a friend in the city. It’s much more fun to explore with a friend ya know.

After an afternoon of wandering in the city by myself, my friend was riding the train down to join me. We were to meet at Grand Central. She was coming in on a train from New Haven. She had taken off work early to make sure she would get there with plenty of time for the night. At the time this occurred, it was one of my first times in New York City and in Grand Central.

I got there early to do a bit of exploring. I walked around and was simply amazed at everything that was going on. The wonderful structures, the catacombs of tunnels, the masses of people rushing to catch trains, it was all like an old movie. Sitting on a bench in the middle of the station, I just watched as the people rushed by and wondered where everyone was going. I made up some stories that I would have love to have shared with them to see how close I was. That may be a bit creepy though, so I thought better.

Looking at the clock and the schedule, I saw that the time was getting close for her train to arrive. I began finding my way towards the train terminals. While getting closer, memories of these terminals flashed through my head. It’s been quite a while since I’ve been on a train and at a train terminal. I also had all these thoughts of happy reunions and all the sad goodbyes that this terminal must have seen. When I finally reached the terminal, it felt like being thrown back a few decades when trains still ruled. It’s difficult to describe, but it just felt like everything should be in black and white at that moment.

Well, enough of that.

The train came in a bit late as usual. There was steam coming from the breaks as the heat from the friction met with the cold air. As the massive black engine slowed to a stop, people began to exit the train. A sea
of people came flowing towards me. Most of the riders moved quickly with their heads busily looking at the floor. A few looked up briefly to avoid running into me. Other than that, the sea of black and gray coats flowed all around me.

This part is more interesting than I’ve described and I wish there was a picture for this moment. During this scene, I was wearing a nice black/dark blue suite with a black trench coat. The big noticeable difference from everyone else around me was that I had flaming bright orange hair. Think Hi-C or Sunny D orange. Now make it 3 times brighter. That’s my hair color. In this sea of black and gray, I stood there bright and proud.

The sea of people turned into a few last stragglers. I looked and looked in the sea, but she wasn't in the group. So now I was getting a bit concerned. This was before the days of cell phones, so calling wasn’t really an option. How people met up for things back then is beyond me.

After most of the people have gone from the train, I see a girl exiting the train. I haven’t seen her in months, and before that, years. The girl that exited the train I didn't see the face under the hood, but I knew it was her. Sometimes you just know.

She looked up and saw me standing there waving like an excited Pup. She smile widely and began walking towards me. It was only a short distance but it seemed to have taken forever. I wanted to run towards her and lift her in the air, but that would’ve just been strange. Anyway, when we finally got to each other, we gave each other a nice big hug before we said a word. You know that hug. The kind that that warms you down to your bones.

She was very surprised at my hair. She thought the look was simply fabulous. A nice suit and orange hair. Not a look you see everyday. She was not shabby herself. Nope, not shabby at all. At first glance, she was covered by a bulky blue jacket with a hood. She opened her jacket to show an elegant but cute black cocktail dress. Playful, yet very tastefully done.

We talked a bit and started walking out the building to begin our plans for the night.

To be continued...

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