Wednesday, August 10, 2011

A New York state of mind

As I was trying to fall asleep last night, our family vacation to NYC, back when I was around 9, came to mind. I am certain this memory came from something else, and perhaps by the time I finish this post, it will come to me.

Only a handful of things from that trip have remained in my memory. We took a train to get there, and I remember sitting next to a nice, bearded guy who played games or talked to me for most of the ride. As I was thinking about that last night, I was pretty sure there is no way I would let my kid, who will be 8 in just over a week, sit next to a man we did not know. But times have changed, and I am over-protective (but, I swear, getting better).

I also recall fearing that something bad was going to happen, such as our getting robbed in the middle of the street. I cannot remember why I felt that way; I find it hard to believe at age 9 I had any clue about NYC or had watched anything negative about it on TV. But I had that worry, which fortunately did not come to pass.

I remember taking my first cab ride, which seemed long and yet ended up almost where we started. I think our cab driver told us the place we were going to stay was no good, and he suggested another hotel. I forget how we ended up back at the original place, but I definitely remember the grand staircase in that lobby.

I can picture the Statue of Liberty in my mind, and I think we went inside but not up, or at least not the whole way to the top.

I also recall having an ear pain and my parents giving me ear drops and putting cotton in my ears. At one point, I remember being in our hotel room, taking the cotton ball out, and seeing a small bug on it. Lovely memory, eh? But I also remember that my ear pain went away after that. For some reason, a memory of a sandwich comes to mind, but I am not sure if it relates to being in our hotel room or being at the Statue of Liberty. I am not surprised that food has stayed in mind!

The only other thing that sticks out in my mind, which for some odd reason took me years after the fact to recall, was being at the top of the World Trade Center, in an indoor observation deck. I still remember walking around that area with my brothers, looking at displays. I cannot remember, however, going outside the WTC, though I think I remember being outside the Empire State Building. I should probably confer with my family to get my story straight. I actually think my memory of being at the top of the WTC came back sometime after 9/11. Memories are weird like that.

I finished this post and still don't remember what led me to my New York state of mind last night. But I am certain in a few weeks, I will be thinking of that city a lot, and, once again, recalling the events of September 11, 2001.

In the meantime, I can't help but think that what happens around us and what we see leads us to remember past events. Any memories on your mind?

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Isn't it funny the things that trigger our memories? People are more likely to remember negative events over positive. Good that you have both kind from your trip. NYC is really a great city.

chris h. said...

This reminded me of my dreams last night, which almost always involve the house I grew up in (and my mom still lives in). I have lived in 5 houses since then, but my mind keeps going back there, over and over.

Facie said...

Anonymous: Smells and songs can be a trigger for me. B/c I don't think I saw anything on TV about the inside of the WTC, that is why I am 99 percent sure that memory is "real."

Chris: I often have dreams involving my childhood home (which was pretty much the only place I lived). It is so weird to be back at home with my parents in these dreams, who are together more often than not (my parents divorced when I was in college).