March 4th 2015
Story originally written and experienced: March 1st 2015
The conversation was short.
We were sitting on my couch.
I was on one side.
And Megan was on the other.
Watching the heavy snowflakes rEcOnFiGuRe from powdery pieces to muted raindrops the moment they col><lided with the window’s edge.
It was 2:00 p.m on a Sunday.
And we were bundled up in blankets and talking about things.
The blatant fact that she was leaving New York City in just 2 short weeks—with abandon. To go to Colombia. Just to explore. Be a nomad. Figure it out for a while. And crash at my place before her departure just a few days away.
“What do you want to do with your last couple of weeks in town, Megan?”
She looked out the window and said she wasn’t sure. And then she said:
“I wish we could have gone on that long walk today. I had no idea it was going to snow.”
“You know what this snow reminds me of for some reason?”
“Have you ever seen that movie ‘Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind?'”
“Yes! I watched it once in my bed by myself and never actually got the chance to debrief with someone about it. Such a mind fuck.”
“I know, it really is.”
“The psychology major in me loves it though. That idea of actually having the ability to physically erase someone from your memory, but even by doing that, gravitating towards them regardless. There’s just something about them that inevitably attracts you to them, no matter what…I loved that one part in the movie. The part when they realize it all. That they had erased each other completely but inexplicably wanted each other again. Even though they knew if they decided to give it another go, it may never work. But. They still consider it anyway. They really think about doing it all over again.”
“You know what though, I think it still works that way even outside of movies. I mean if you think about it, that’s the general mentality that goes behind any relationship you start. It’s a gamble. And you know that. The fact that only one will ever really work out, but we take the chance anyway because the reward seems so great. We know what we could potentially love, what we want to love and what our being is going to be addicted to and attracted to no matter what.”
“Man. I never even thought about it like that…why did the snow remind you of the movie anyway?”
“Do you remember that one scene where they’re in a bed on a beach, and it’s snowing?”
“The snow reminded me of that, and how weird it was. I’ve always wondered what a beach would look like in the winter.”
“Me too. Those two ideas have just never really gone together in my head. The thought of running on a beach but instead of sand, it’s snow. “
We both paused and looked out the window again.
And then Megan said:
“Do you want to go to Coney Island?”
“Yeah it’s like an hour train ride away…but it’s snowing outside…and…Coney Island has a beach…this could be our chance to see it. To see snow on the sand. Just like the movie.”
The conversation was short.
“100%. Let’s do it. I’ll grab my coat.”
And then the door slammed.
And we were gone >>
Battling a flurry to get to the Q train departing from Union Square.
Coney Island bound.
“Look! I think I see it!’ I said tugging at Megan’s jacket approximately 25+ stops later.”
“Yup! That’s it.”
It was eerie and strange.
Witnessing a whimsical place dressed in winter whites.
The sky stained grey with overcast clouds.
With pops of cherry red paint starving for any semblance of its warm-weather attention.
We noticed it as soon as we stepped off the train.
The unshared air. The
trackless sidewalks. No one was there really. Other than us. And the only sounds stemmed from our sporadic conversations, squeaky structures, jetting winds and any other circus soundbites fabricated in our heads based on the precocious decor.
“Should we head to the beach? I’m pretty sure it’s over there.” Megan said, pointing past the go kart track and beyond the boardwalk.
“Yes. Let’s do it.”
We had no peripheral vision.
Our hoods on high alert as the persistent snow pounded against our bodies, hair and bare hands.
We didn’t care.
Because we were exactly where we wanted to be.
“There it is!”
We bolted down the boardwalk—bound for our movie-moment.
And posing for pictures:
So we could really remember where we were and why.
“Do you hear that?” she asked me. There was a deep, droning noise coming from an inexplicable place. We couldn’t see a thing.
“Wait, I think it’s out there.”
We looked out in the water and watched hazy silhouettes of steamboats cruise
along the icy edges of the water.
“This is eerie and strange.”
Next we saw a bevy of birds flock fiercely around a man tossing what I dreamed to be bagels.
And then we headed down the pier
And back to the boardwalk
Before we headed back home.
She was right next to me.
On Coney Island. As we walked side by side. No peripheral vision. Back to the train.
I didn’t say anything for a while. Because I was thinking. And I was thinking a lot.
And she made me realize it most.
That despite the weather. And despite the distance. We were two people, wired with wanderlust. Who gravitated towards adventure.
No matter what.
“I think that’s everything I hoped it would be.”
“I think it was too.”
I told Megan that I was going to write about this. And she told me she was too.
We were both writers in the city.
Who we both knew. That we had the incapacity to take any moment that meant anything. Without giving our pen and paper an imaginative try.
Only because we gravitated towards it. And only because the reward seemed so great.
“I’m not sure what I’m going to say yet though,” she said.
“I bet we’ll write something totally different.”
“We definitely will.”
“Isn’t it strange though? That we traveled the same distance. Took the same steps. And saw the same things, yet we’re probably going to have such different things to say about it.”
“Absolutely. Maybe we should collaborate.”
“Wait, actually. Let’s do an anti-collaboration. This week. Let’s sit together. Open our computers. And both write about this day. We won’t talk. And I won’t show you mine until I’m completely done. And the same goes for you.”
“Deal. I love that.”
And that’s exactly what we did.
Knowing full well that.
It might not work. But. We tried it anyway. Just in case it did.
Because some things are worth the gamble.
And this one certainly was.
In fact, if given the choice, I’d do it all over again.