Last week, I was stressed about work. Very stressed. Meditating was only helping so much, so I decided I would go to McCarren park, look for the full moon, and listen to some chanting. It was the Summer Solstice after all. But when I got there, I couldn't see the moon. I walked over to an empty bench instead.
A middle aged woman in a nurses' uniform came up and asked me if anyone else was sitting there. I said no. It was a large bench, and I was the only person on it. She sat down next to me and motioned that she wanted to talk. I took my headphones out, and she asked me if I speak Polish. I said no, and she says "But you look Polish." So I told her my maternal Grandfather's family was originally from Poland.
She asked me if I've ever been there, and since I must have felt the need to compensate, I tell her no but I did live in Prague one winter. She tells me how much she loved Prague when she lived there under communist rule. Now she works at Bellevue. I told her my mom used to work there.
She said she used to like Williamsburg more, but now it's busy and full of strangers. She asked me if I'm an artist, and I told her I'm a writer, and I want to write movies. She couldn't believe I hadn't seen How To Be Single, but we both loved Brooklyn. She told me not to bother with Neighbors 2.
Then she noticed someone speaking Polish, and she walked over and began talking to them. When I left, we said a genuinely warm goodbye, two less strangers in a crowd.