I was recently out with the pup when I locked eyes with a young woman approximately ten years my junior. I recognized her immediately—young professional, racing to catch the Penn Station bound train. As she adjusted her bag and skipped down the block, I had an instant flashback to an earlier time when I was a 20-something-year-old and the city was my playground.
Always running, barely awake. Typically spilling my coffee and desperately hoping that everything was tucked, that no seams were loose, and that the trains wouldn’t further delay my already late arrival to work.
I think back on those days fondly. While I wouldn’t trade the me of today with the me of my past, I am sometimes gripped by nostalgia of a time when the city wasn’t a place I visited, but an entity I understood intimately. I knew the good lunch spots, the hippest bars, best date nooks, and where to go to avoid the tourists—a category I now fall under.
Yesterday I observed three young girls sitting on a bench, laughing loudly about a teacher in class. Immediately I felt that familiar flood of emotions and that tug at my heartstrings. Wasn’t it just yesterday my friends and I laughed raucously without a care in the world?
It happens to me frequently. On line at a grocery store I’ll catch a delicious and intoxicating musky scent. And suddenly I’m transported into the living room of an old relationship—a voyeur into a life I barely remember but could never forget. I’ll hear a name and think of that old friend and how we had that stupid falling out about nothing really and I wonder if she still remembers that time I ate the last cookie out of her ice cream? More often than not, I feel that pesky déjà vu and I can never put my finger on why I’m feeling this way, and what it all means.
Time keeps on slipping, slipping… into the future.
That song drives me bonkers, but that line sticks like the reel of my life’s memories.
Tell me… what makes you feel the most nostalgic?