These days when I ride my bike, I look straight out into the horizon. I dart my eyes on what’s ahead rather than those who I pass by. It’s an ironic change in attitude given that I’m always scouting for people’s faces on the street. I love the thrill that comes with recognizing an old friend or a celebrity while exploring in the New York wilderness. But something has changed. Now, I keep my eyes straight ahead. Or, at least try to. I’d rather focus out into the distance than risk noticing her again from the periphery of my vision.
It might seem improper to allow for a person to have enough power over you to change your modus operandi - or rather, your way of being - but sometimes old habits need to be laid to rest. At least temporarily - until you can regain composure.
The mind and the universe work interchangeably. What we obsess, ruminate, and transfix on is eventually brought to reality. Both good and bad, we come face-to-face with everything our minds conjure. The stronger the thought, the more likely that the universe will pick up on it, and deliver to reality.
I remember on the day I ran into her, I was thinking about her very heavily. Reminiscing on the intimacy spent. I still wake up thinking about her every morning, although I’m getting a little better at not doing it as much. So when I did see her in Tompkins Square Park later that day, it was almost as if I was asking for it. Volunteering to be a witness of a scenery that my heart still has trouble carrying.
I remember when I used to suffer from panic disorder. Even though there was no imminent harm or danger in the present moment, the more I became fixated on the panic and fear, the quicker the panic actually came on. I was finding fault where there was none to be found, and now doing the same exact thing, except with a person.
Distractions may be the best form of solution. I recently started bartending. Honestly, I didn’t think I had it in me to get into the restaurant industry again, especially after the way she treated me for being a waiter. In hindsight, I think I really let that affect my self-confidence.
But there is something about working at a restaurant that puts the entire focus on the current moment. You have no choice but to surrender yourself to the needs and requests of others. It’s an immediate pursuit. If you fuck up an order, you’ll see the results right away. Either on the face of your guests, or your manager. The moment becomes about others, and not yourself - a freeing triumph for someone like myself who gets stuck in his own mind a lot.
At least for 7 hours, she is no longer in my thoughts. I’m just looking out deep into the horizon, and making a stiff Gin Martini.
(Originally Published May 11th, 2018)