the allure of being awake for 24+ hours has worn off

Per my Fitbit, I woke up at 7:02 a.m. on May 18. I did not go to bed until 7:17 a.m. on May 19. I drove many fives of miles. I walked about eight miles. I hurt my foot. It was pretty awesome. After this post, I’m technically caught up from my backlog of posts from late March. This is good because tomorrow is the 15th anniversary of this blog.

I was awake for 24 hours and 15 minutes because of an obligation to my dead sister. I could not say no to Shonda when she asked if I could drive her to Giants Stadium so she could see BTS, which you (should) know is a very popular Korean band. I figured it wouldn’t be a problem. I assumed either it would start and end early or because I was driving and she had a job and lives in my mom’s house without having to pay rent, she’d at least share the cost for two hotel rooms that night and we’d head home Sunday morning.

Shonda switched jobs between the time that she bought the tickets and showtime. She also had a doctor’s appointment on Monday. Oh, and she told me at nearly the last minute that she wanted to arrive at the Meadowlands early so she could get “merch.”

You now know how much your uncle loves you, Shonda.

I had a few options for activities while I wanted for the concert to end. I was going to hang out at the New Jersey Institute of Technology chapter of my fraternity or head into the city and by fraternity big brother or my grand-little, who live in Queens and Brooklyn, respectively. At some point, the number of close friends I have in New York fell sharply. Also, I decided against visiting my wife’s family because I did not want to drive into New York and they also live beyond the reaches of every service the MTA offers. Seriously.

We headed out at about 7:45 a.m., and I dropped her off and then got to Newark at about 2 p.m. I didn’t need to get back the stadium until about 9:30.

This house is a time capsule.
I haven’t set foot in that house since about 2011, and I swear there are some things that have not moved since the first time I was there in October 2003. These are all the pictures you’re going to see of this house. Never mind that this is the public floor.

The academic year had just ended at NJIT, and they had their formal the night before. Everyone was pretty much half dead, so I hitched a ride over to the train station and took New Jersey Transit into Penn Station. I wandered around Manhattan for a while.

I stumbled across the 13th Annual Dance Parade. It threw off my trajectory and I wound up on the wrong side of it. When I regained my bearings, I had to wait for it to end to get back across.

When I updated Renée on where she was, she noted that I was near a location of my favorite restaurant, Spice. (If you don’t know that this is my favorite restaurant, you don’t know me very well.) I got one of my favorite dishes, hot sweet basil with chicken.

After that, I talked to my mom, talked to another fraternity brother on the phone, got mistaken for Reginald Chapman and manage to wander past the very first bar I patronized in New York. It also probably was the very first bar I ever bought a drink in. I was 19 or 20.

Smoking was not yet banned indoors the first time I was here. It just wasn’t the same a few years later without the cloud of tobacco obscuring the ceiling. Although secondhand smoke is terrible, I honestly miss the ambiance of smoky bars.

I didn’t have a lot of time left, so I did what I swore I wouldn’t do: I went to Hudson Yards. I did not go into the Shawarma Vessel, because screw that. But it was the golden hour, so I walked around there and onto the high line until it was time to get back on the train to Newark.

Under the original terms of service, the developers owned my firstborn because I took this photo.
I can’t get over how much this looks like a computer rendering that has buzz phrases like “activate the street.”
Unfortunately, the sunset over the Hudson doesn’t get really lend itself to beauty at this point on the island.
This is currently my favorite photo. It’s my cellphone and my work computer wallpaper.
What makes Hudson Yards Hudson Yards.

I have no idea how I got to the right train. I always feel confused when I’m in Penn Station but I’ve managed to figure out where I need to go in enough time. Now I’m afraid I’ve jinxed it.

I got back in time to ride with the NJIT chapter’s president to pick up his girlfriend, her friend and Shonda from the concert. It was a nice coincidence, and it was a lot more fun talking to him than I initially thought. I was afraid that the 16-year difference would kill conversation, but our brotherhood transcends the years.

We were in that parking lot from about precisely 9:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. The entire day, I strategically drank Red Bull and a latte, so I wasn’t tired. My right foot was in excruciating pain, though. I injured that foot on New Year’s Day when Missy slept on it. I was walking funny part of the day because I was wearing socks with worn elastic and decided against stopping to fix it. (I need to replace a lot of my clothes. I no longer wear things from high school, but I have more than a few things that are 10 years old.)

The pain contributed to keeping me awake on the ride home. We drove until the sun rose and I powered through thick fog. When I switched my car off, it was time for a nap until I dropped Shonda off for her bus at about 2 p.m.

Overall, I had fun. I didn’t have the cherished memory of the weekend Shonda has, but it was a great day in New York. I love being there and I think I’d do fine there, but I have no desire to live in the actual city. I’m going back in a few weeks, and I can’t wait. Thankfully, that trip will have some built-in time for rest.

As for this trip, I had Monday off. I slept. I continued to drag all of last week, and I’m surprised I made it through an internet show on the 22nd that was broadcast on Facebook Live. I’m looking forward to sleeping in tomorrow, and I’m glad plans to go to Richmond tomorrow fell through. I’m getting too old for this, apparently.

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