30 some years ago 2 young women were running down a New York street singing California Dreaming, holding hands and laughing. They were headed to the Russian Tea room for a celebration where they would eat borscht and pumpernickel bread spread thickly with butter. One was a Native New Yorker, descended from Russian Jews and the other, Kentucky born and bred.
An unlikely friendship that could only happen in that city at that time. They had met working backstage in theater. One ran the lights and the other ran the sound for a show that Malcolm McDowell was in. Young enough not to know how flattered they should be when he would stop in the booth and thank them for their work but wise enough to know he was a class act, through and through.
So two 20 somethings, unencumbered by any responsibility other than to enjoy the night, made memories. Memories which were resurrected by a song...
On such a Winter's day
I was the Kentuckian. I was 23 and totally free to experience life. I had met Jill and she took me under her wing. My first NYC friend and tour guide.
She introduced me to foods I had never tasted, music I never heard, and a city that glimmers like a jewel in my memory.
That image, the two of us loudly singing, on a Winter's day, out for adventure, warms my heart.
I didn't realize that one day I would be remembering that girl, admiring her bravery. My bravery. I was so free and open to all that Life had to offer. I knew nothing of what sorrow may lay ahead. I knew nothing of the trials and hardships I would overcome. I think if I had, I wouldn't have been in NY in the 1980's.
NY pre Trump Tower, gentrification, crazy high rent, pre AIDS: still a dangerous, dirty and exciting place to land post college.
Memories of riding the graffitied subway late at night, watching, wary, danger always a possibility.
Music from my WalkMan serenading me: Adam Ant, Tom Petty, Madonna, Cyndy Lauper. Those were my wild colorful songs for the soundtrack of the city in the 80's
Now, I am a 55 year old divorcee, back in KY, considering a change in my life that requires an openness, a courage, a bravado that I didn't think I had anymore. Until the song played. Reminding me of that young woman, brave and fearless, taking on the world, not fearing failure.
I remember her. I am still her in my heart. And I carry that image into this next phase. Hoping for the "something big" that is a real possibility, that is just one conversation away, trusting that it will work out. That the new adventure beckoning me will prove to be something that young woman would approve of and embrace whole heartedly...