There was a cake with a firework on top of it. It was a sweet goodbye from my co-workers, especially the firework part. After nearly three and a half years, I quit my job at the hotel I had been working at. Walking away from the building through the streets of the Meatpacking District yesterday afternoon, I knew that it would be my last time walking this way at this time of day. I was quite happy for various reasons and also at the same time quite sad for other reasons. It was a jumble of emotions, the happy and sad ones each competing to dominate the narrative of this moment. Drinking would have been an appropriate reaction here, often is when the emotions are big and you are not sure what else to do, but I have yet another throat sickness this winter and so that idea was quickly struck.
This morning, I had two of my wisdom teeth removed and I have spent the day since on my couch in pain and sleeping, rousing every hour or so to change the bloody gauze that is in the back of my mouth. The dentist spoke to me of Costa Rica. Stevie Nicks' "Edge of Seventeen" came on over the office radio at one point. He told me I had acne as a kid. He could tell by the color of my wisdom teeth, told me I took tetracycline as a teen.
I have two weeks to myself now before I start my new job at another hotel in another part of town, before I develop new habits, before I know which subway car I need to ride in, before I find a new deli to stop in for coffee each morning. I picked up coffee and a bagel for most likely the last time yesterday morning from Super Gourmet Deli on 14th Street and 9th Avenue. I thought of this when I was in there and yet did not say goodbye to any of the deli guys that I have seen nearly every morning for the last few years, that knew what to make me as soon as I walked in the door.