I was in Boston for 24 hours for a gig and went to CVS three times. Walked past Boston Commons on the way to the gig, and I think that might be the only historical tourist site I managed to observe. Funny, it’s a different experience being alone in a new city. At home, I need gobs and gobs of alone time, but in a new place, I felt more alone, unsure of what I would experience in this new environment. Where I was in Beantown was entirely white people, maybe one Asian person at the hotel, one Black/Brown Lyft driver, but my hotel was near Chinatown and everyone I met was fine and friendly.
The gig went fine, not amazing, but just fine. And given the nutty pace of my work/personal life, we were all blessed I was remotely coherent. I am in a season where multiple things are going wrong, but small and profound, eg, last weekend, the apartment doorknob came off in my hand, the power in the building went out for the day during the Wonder Twins Bday party. This gig itself had hiccups — a nor’easter, a postponed date, the co-presenter getting sick, a messed up flight that had me sprinting and boarding a 6 pm flight at 5:59 pm. It’s been a period of tremendous stress, but there are still some little silver linings.
Despite the stress, I find it always helpful to change my normal, and visiting new places, I get to see new people in their own orbit, commuting, grabbing lunch at local places, preoccupied with their own conundrums and problems and obsessions, and it just makes me realize how big the country is and how I’m just one microcosm of the whole set-up and that maybe, it’s okay. Maybe there’s no need to get so hung up on the things I feel are do-or-die and I relax. I stood in front of about sixty people who don’t know me and don’t care about me, and I don’t know them or have to care about them. We are all kind of just existing on parallel planes. I don’t get this sensation when we are visiting family out of town, only when I work with people for the first and last time, spending two hours of intense time together and then never seeing them again.
It was so cold, I missed the family terribly even though it was one night, and the timing of this out-of-town excursion could not have been worse, but I have returned stronger and restored, albeit also physically and psychically drained. Very interesting.