We were wandering down 52nd Street today in the rain, in search of ramen, when I saw this.
I stood there sort of mystified and yet not sure why I was standing there or what I was mystified about. My husband continued down the sidewalk in the rain. I shook it off and hurried off behind him, but I only made it a few more steps before I started dragging again. Had I been here before?
Ghostlike images danced just above consciousness like a dream: bodies, shadows, dimmed lights, lowish ceilings, voices, African accents, music, cheap disco dance lights, a makeshift dance floor, yellow cabs into the night… Had I been here before?
Yes. No. Surely not. Maybe? When? Why??
We never got the ramen. The restaurant wasn’t open yet. We ended up wandering around Midtown in the rain for another moderately miserable hour, before accepting defeat and a long line and bagels. In a city that has everything, WHY is everything SO difficult? I cannot answer that question, but I have been mulling over the Zambian question all day.
My best guess is that I had been there before. My best guess is that it was eleven years ago, for a party. My best guess is that it was during a Model United Nations conference. A guy at the conference had invited my friends and I to some sort of diplomatic party. We went. That’s my best guess.
My best guesses are a process of elimination and a little bit of sleuthing around my college email account. Prior to moving here, I’d really only spent time in the city on two different occasions. It wasn’t one, so it had to be the other.
It was a weird, random night, and I wish I could remember it better. I also wish I had someone to back me up and say: Yes, this actually happened. Yes, it really was the Zambian Mission to the UN. No, it wasn’t just some mad dream…or was it?