Its 3:55 PM on a sunny afternoon. Its 68 degrees outside with a calm breeze. I’m sitting on a rock, in the sun, beside a lake in Central Park. I can see a baby turtle swimming near the bank, he’s been swimming the same little path for over an hour. I hear the clanking of boats as they hit one another and the giggling screams of the passages when they think they are going to tip over. I am very thankful they are all wearing life jackets. When the breeze decides to blow, I can feel the debris from the tree hitting my legs. I can hear the splashing of boat ores as the city folk try to maneuver their way around a row boat. I hear the birds chirping and the squirrels rustling in the shady spot under the tree. I see couples holding hands, moms pushing strollers, and tourist taking pictures. I think I will sit here until it starts getting dark, I need the sunlight. Our apartment is very dark even with all the lamps on and shades open.
I’m not really sitting all that far from the path, but no one seems to notice that I’m here. I get to silently watch as people from all walks off life live out their day. I have been here a couple of hours now; I have almost forgot I was in the city that never sleeps. Central Park is small in comparison to Shelby farms. Shelby farms is actually five times bigger than Central Park. Regardless, in a city full of cement, this park feels huge.
Some children have now noticed my turtle, but the little guy does not seem to mind. I’m actually kind of impressed, the children don’t try to disturb him they just point and get as close to the water without falling in as they can. Just as children do, they now left my little guy for a cooler spot around the corner. “Dude theres like 15 over here, come on!” The child called to the others. I am perched high enough on the rock that I can see most of the lake from here. I am still half hoping someone tips over; I have a great viewing spot. There is a young couple rowing on the water, the man has just started singing Ed Sharrons ” Perfect” to her. Im quietly signing along with them.
If i’m being honest, I only remotely know where I am. I know I am by a lake that the Loeb Boat House rents their row boats. I came in to the park at 79th on the UWS and from there I followed a trail that started winding through the woods, it was shady so I went for it. Then it started taking me up and down past the lake, over two bridges, past a saxophone player, painters painting, and I finally stopped by a bench on the water. The spot was great so I thought I would start trying to read but then some mandarin speaking gentleman starting having a loud conversation right across from me, so on I went. The path from there went left and right, I went right… right? Here I am now, on my rock, somewhere between the UES and UWS. I guess i could just look at my location on google, but what fun is that. The idea of being lost in a park is what life all about!
I often wonder how people raise families in a large city such as this, but maybe since they have an outlet like Central Park it’s not so bad. I’m watching what I assume is dad and two sons having a boy’s day out on the lake. I can tell he’s trying to teach they how to row the boat correctly. They aren’t doing the worst job; they have only gone in a few circles. Walking to my rock I passed a mom playing with her 1-year old baby on the bench. They were playing some form of modern peak-a-boo and the baby was all giggles and smiles. All these families are really enjoying their day, and I’m loving secretly getting to spend it with them.
Don and all my friends are working, so I’m adventuring solo today. I don’t really mind it so much anymore. The hardest part is making yourself leave the house, but after that its smooth sailing. I always leave the house looking for an adventure, but really the adventure finds me.
I just sent a picture to my friend Natalie, and she has now reminded me that I am in fact not wearing sunscreen. I should have known better because she is the one who got sunburnt yesterday. As I am examining my body, I am no very aware of the fact that my arms and cheeks are a little too sun kissed. I’ll need to stop at the bodega for some sunscreen and Aloe Vera before heading home. Thats another great thing about living here, on every block there are at least 4 bodegas where you can buy overpriced necessities.
A different group of children have now discovered the 15 turtles on the other side of me. I’m glad they haven’t found my turtle; the little guy still seems like he’s on a mission swimming his laps. Some weird ants and a grub worm have now invaded my blanket, I guess it’s a sign I need to pack up. My computer is on low battery anyway. I should start my journey of finding my way home. If I don’t find my way home, just remember I love all ya’ll.
OKAY, maybe I’m just dramatic. Dramatic and sun burnt. I made it home. I was less than two miles from home.