There is a smoking room in the Atlanta airport. Behind large panes of glass, people stare blankly into space surrounded by a gray haze, cigarettes in one hand, the other resting on their luggage. I pass it three times as I search for my terminal for the second leg of my trip from Houston to New York.
In the bags that I am dragging back and forth across the airport: My Harper's magazines, the Esquire I bought in the airplane (don't judge, it's good airplane reading), my cell phone, computer, iPod, headphones, a few notebooks, clothing, and A Morning Watch, which I have finished on the way to Atlanta. I have checked two large bags filled with shirts and pants and shoes and belts and a few books.
Another eleven or so boxes follow me up to New York a few weeks later, driven by my friends, Ross and Dustin. Mostly books and more clothing, DVDs and CDs. By the time they arrive I have gotten used to passing the same store/street/scornful local multiple times as I realize I am going in the wrong direction.
I have an apartment now in a neighborhood in Queens called Astoria. I have a futon, some pots and pans and some strange retro dishware I received second hand. I have a pretty good sense of where I can get on the N, R and W lines, and I spend less time going in the wrong direction. I love walking around this city not feeling so much like a tourist. Almost as if I live here, in New York City.