It’s been six months since I left New York and my freely authentic persona with it. During these months, I behaved like an addict. Yes, an addict who would need a daily dosage of something and she needs it right here, right now. I know that no addiction is healthy. Obviously, it just can’t be since the word itself is already filled with a terrible connotation. But I needed to confess my addiction. Just to make sure we understand each other.
Some people get addicted to cigarettes, some to food, some to sex, some to work. But I got addicted to something else. I am addicted to New York. And my addiction is as severe as heroin-hunger. (I can only guess on this, of course). It is not a ‘hey I love New York and wish to visit it’ kind of light addiction. It is not even a please ‘buy me a poster of the Empire State Building’ kind of visual addiction. Or the kind of ‘everybody loves New York so I do so too’ kind of mass addiction.
When I say severe, I do mean severe.
For the last month and so, I went to sleep feeling the air of New York on my skin. I woke up hearing the noises of the city. When I had a bad mood, I imagined how I am passing under the Arch of Washington Square. When I got nervous, I imagined my tranquil walks through Central Park.
During the last six months, life didn’t stop though. Only my soul did. Nothing is the same again. Of course, most of you have no idea what I am talking about. And you all would tell me what everybody does: ‘Be happy that you could be there, some people never have a chance’. And surely, you would be right to say so.
I am happy. Extremely happy. But happiness comes at a price. And the price is high: until you don’t know what you miss, you simply can’t miss it. But once the wind of the unknown becomes known…you have no escape anymore. And the wind caressed me. Deeply.
It’s an addiction. It is as complicatedly simple as it can get. A passionate, unbeatable, incurable addiction. And though the long-term effect on my body and mind is still unclear, such as all other addictions, I am sure it’s not ok.
Since I left NYC, I read four books about the City (mainly as mind-refreshing between two exam preparations). I watched movies only if they were the result of my searching words: New York. Every time a plane flew over our garden; I felt the freedom these flying objects give me. While studying for my latest law exam in my home country, the NYT vs. Sullivan case was more than a reading material: it was the Port Authority that faced the NYT building, it was Times Square that led to it, it was NYU, where I learnt journalism. It was my New York. (Of course, in reality it was just a text box in the book as supportive material). Writing my assignment for the University was no exception. I can pretend that I did not choose a Hungarian medium for my analyses because of delicate political reasons, but honestly, I chose New York Times to escape back to my dreams. Reading the articles, understanding the history of American journalism, imagining how it might have been to be an editor back in the 60’s were all just part of my conscious escapism.
Since the end of December, when my visa expired, I was counting the days. I knew the time would come, but every day was heavy without me being in New York.
Six months passed, and I am going back. My demand for my New York dose reached its peak, and I could not go on without it anymore. Nothing could lessen the addiction.
Nobody could save the addict…
But there were times when I tried to push this whole thing away. But when I thought about not having it I just could not breath. What I could do though was shaking, sweating, and dreaming about it. I am telling you; I got it all. I got all the signs of a severe addiction. But I am good at self-control, and I knew if I let if overflow me, I would become inoperable. I wouldn’t do my exams, I wouldn’t even cope with my simple daily routines. I would just sit on my bed and hope that the Sun and the Moon would chase each other quicker and quicker. Until they would finally give up and the time would come.
And the time came. But I’m still pushing the feelings away. This whole addiction is overwhelming.
I am just a human. An idiot one on top of it: I was waiting every day for the last six months. And now I am going back.
But by now, can you imagine how tired I am?