What I hadn’t yet experienced was a real New York bagel. One local guy suggested Tompkins Square Bagels, about six blocks from my room. So I went, on my last morning. There were laughing guys behind the counter, smiling patrons in front of it. Just a wee place but it felt like I was entering the hall of gastronomic fame.
Sourdough looked good and so did blueberry cream cheese. I guarantee you that the taste was far better. How can bagels be this soft and yummy? I sat at my little table, watching people and savouring my breakie. Even the coffee was good.
I thought ahead to the Newark Liberty International Airport, waiting for my flight to be called, hungry. How about a bagel to go? In an instant the choice was clear … pumpernickel with bacon cream cheese. Decadence of the delayed gratification genre.
Back on the street, I talked to myself. “You’re tired. You have this big suitcase. Subway stations don’t have elevators from the surface to the bowels > > > Get a cab!” My adventurous spirit was fading away as I raised my arm, beckoning to a whizzing yellow object passing by on the opposite side of the street. “He’ll turn around for me.” He didn’t. So I waited for maybe ten minutes, arm at the ready. No cabs.
I glanced over to the familiar bus stop and my insides shifted. “No cab indeed.” Three minutes later, I was hauling my local world onto the public beast. “One more time … I can do this. It’ll just take a transfer or two.” Later, as I soared through the air en route to Toronto, I added up the vehicles of my day – it came to eleven. M14A bus > 4 subway > 7 subway > 2 subway > New Jersey Transit train to the Newark Airport > Skytrain to Terminal B > Porter Flight PD 130 to Toronto > Billy Bishop Airport shuttle bus to Union Station > UP Express to Pearson Airport > Skyway Park shuttle van to Scarlet > two hour drive home. Piece of cake. I handled the luggaged stairs, I found elevators, I balanced on escalators, I had fun. Dear taxi, you’re just not needed today.
Even though I was in airplane mode above New York State, I could still compose a blog post about Thursday. I wrote and wrote about the 911 Museum. It was difficult writing, since my heart had entered my fingers. Upon arrival in Toronto, I sat in the airport lounge, did some editing, and prepared to click “Post”. Click. Then I copied my message to Facebook. I also use that platform to post some photos. I came to the one which showed Bruce’s name, one of the 911 victims, carved into a long metal plate. I looked more closely. Above “Bruce Douglas Boehm” was another, and my breath ceased. It was “Brooke Alexandra Jackman”, the woman whose “missing” poster I had spied the day before, the woman whom I had adopted in love. The metal plates encircled the two reflecting pools which were the locations of the twin towers. The number of names inscribed was 2977. And still, it was Bruce and Brooke.