The trips, after a while, blur together.
That’s awful to say, but it’s true. The first time you visit a city is like the first time you kiss the love of your life. You remember every single detail: the shirt you wore, the walk home from the restaurant, the smell of winter in the air. It’s so clear that if you were to recreate it again from only your memory, you could do a fairly good job (but maybe you’d remember your skin as being clearer than it was and your hair bouncier, and who’s to say it wasn’t?).
If you are lucky, more kisses come, as do more trips. And while the first one remains crystal clear and special in your mind, recollections of the subsequent ones start to get a little murky.
I realize how privileged I am to spend so much time on the road, that one trip gets muddled with the next one, that hotels start to feel familiar, that I notice when the sushi restaurant in Newark Airport gets a new owner.
I struggle to keep them straight in my head, trying to remember what made this last trip unique. We visited New York last month, and even now, I press my fingers against my temples in a vain attempt to keep that last journey distinct from the ones that preceded it.
On this last trip, there was an abysmally bad skywriter:
And we found a wind-up toy pig that may have been part of an installation at a Chelsea gallery.
Or it may have just been a wind-up toy pig that someone had left there to mess with all the folks who don’t understand modern art (myself included). I told Rand that we needed to grab a bunch of small wind-up toys and release them in art museums.
I bet days would pass before anyone would realize they weren’t supposed to be there.
On this last trip, we walked along The Highline in the blazing sun like I’ve done a few times before.
There was the view from my little brother-in-law’s new apartment in Brooklyn.
And the look on my husband’s face when he saw it.
You might not remember every part of every trip. You might not remember every single kiss you give the twinkly-eyed boy or girl you fell in love with. And that’s okay.
Some memories will be lost to time and the imperfection of human memory. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t revisit a place. It doesn’t mean you should stop grabbing your loved one and kissing them in the middle of Times Square, even if you’ve done it dozens of times before.
Because even after the 27th time, it’s still stupidly awesome. And every now and then, there will be one – one kiss, one visit, one moment – that you absolutely can’t get out of your head, no matter how many years have passed.