Time and the City

How does it happen? This city is a thief of time. I planned to come home after class (2-4pm) and doing a few errands, to work on one of my papers. I got out of class on time, stopped by the office to see if I had mail. Then I went down to the Staples store to look for a USB to parallel port converter for my cheap printer. But I couldn't find any such thing. Then I looked around for other things I might need. I got some birthday money this week so I decided to splurge on new computer speakers since mine are completely broken. Made a quick phone call. Then I went to another store a few blocks away to see if I could find a replacement for the hat that I lost last week. That store has 3 floors and is only accessible via an elevator, so it took awhile. And I had to try some things on and bought myself some new jammies, also with birthday money.

I had planned to go to the vet to buy special diabetes food for my cat. (She isn't dying! She has diabetes which is treatable, yay!) But, it was after 5 when I got out of the store and I knew the food would be heavy. Because I already had to carry the speakers, and because it still snowed and I knew going to the vet meant changing trains and having to walk quite a few blocks both going and coming and to transfer train lines....I chose to nix the vet trip for today.

Living in New York requires many little life adjustments. Shopping, for example is a whole new experience because you have to carry your purchases home. When I go to the grocery store I only buy one or two heavy things like milk and orange juice, to make the walk home bearable. And it's best to shop only for one week's worth of food at a time.

Today it took an hour to get home from mid-town because of rush hour. Getting home after 6, I unloaded my packages and bookbag and coat and scarf, etc. Installed my new speakers. Checked my email. Made two phone calls. Fed the cats. Knocked on the basement door to deliver a message to the boy who lives there. He wasn't home so I went up to the kitchen to write him a note. Went downstairs to push the note under his door. Made some dinner (poured cereal and milk into a bowl.) Checked my blog. Had a quick IM convo with a friend....and now it is 9 pm!!!!!!!!! I don't understand how it got so late so quickly and I have done no work.

Everyday goes like this. It took me 3 hours on Friday to go to midtown to pick up a package at school and then go to Brooklyn to the vet to pick up something. 3 hours! Commuting requires waiting, going up and down stairs, and shoving through crowds, and walking in the cold, and changing trains which means more waiting, and carrying bags and packages.... A very different life from the way I lived before.

I haven't adjusted yet to city time. It has taken almost 3 years for me to finally understand that I need to give myself 45 minutes to an hour to go ANYwhere on the train. If it's far away then it takes even longer. The fact that I will always be tired in the evening after going places in the city has not yet sunk into my consciousness. I always think I can work when I get home, because I never expect to be so tired. So nothing gets done as planned.

One of these days I'll get used to living here. Probably right before I have to leave.