new york

I’m packing my stuff for my flight back to Manila tomorrow at 9AM. I have to be at JFK by 6, so I have to be on the road by 5. I can’t believe I had accumulated an extra luggage-full of clothes, mostly pasalubong for my mom and sisters, plus the two winter coats and the winter boots that I bought, courtesy of the mothership’s winter allowance for its staff who travel to certain destinations where temperatures drop below 17 degrees Celsius. I arrived with a one large luggage and a small bag last month. But thanks to the bulky purchases, I had to buy an extra huge maleta yesterday in Chinatown. It was also my fault, because I brought loooot of clothes from Manila, afraid that I would run out of things to wear. I could have left about half of what I had packed.

As if this was a reverse of last month’s events, Keng would bring me to JFK. I remember joking with Keng a few years ago that I’d be knocking on his door for a surprise visit. We were sharing a bottle of wine and cigarettes at Greenbelt gardens, looking at the stars, dreaming of what life could offer. That was in 2003 and I was well on my way to a full-on quarter-life crisis.

I wished then that it was that easy to get to NYC. In the years between then and now, all I could do was dream, have my heart broken, slog through my days, figure out what I really wanted to do with my life.

Four years later, I got a taste of the dream. A month later, I’m going back to Manila. I miss NYC already.

But for now, I miss my life in Makati–the friends, the pizza-and-wine dinners at my apartment, my sister, badminton, the ideal December weather, the colorful clothes, my cable channels, laptop, my room, my extra gigs, the walk to and from the office, the wind on my face as I walk back to the apartment while listening to my favorite tunes on my mp3 player and dreaming of what could be.