We arrived in New York after three weeks of an intense road trip on the West Coast from San Francisco to San Diego, and after a six-hour night flight from Los Angeles. I can never sleep on anything that is moving, so by the time we landed at Newark Airport I felt extremely exhausted. All the fatigue and the memories of the experiences of the last three weeks were still lingering over me and I was feeling like I was in a trance.
It was around 9 o’clock in the morning as we took a cab to our hotel in New York. The traffic was so heavy that it took us almost one hour longer than planned to get to the hotel. And the air was hot and suffocating, the noises around us loud and ceaseless.
All I could think of was a quiet room with a shower to refill my energy supplies.
At the hotel, we were informed that our room was not ready yet. I felt I wanted to surrender, lay down in the lobby and stay there forever. Obviously, that was not an option. We needed something to fill the almost two hours until we could check in to our room. As the hotel was just a few steps away from Times Square, we decided to walk there, find a quiet place to sit and watch people go by.
Little did we know that a quiet place in New York was a dichotomy. We did find a place to sit, but it was very far away from being quiet. We were two people among hundreds. We were barely able to hear our own conversation that was overlapped by thousands of other conversations, by what it felt like millions of cars driving by, by the lights of the constant advertisements on the surrounding buildings.
I do not remember exactly what happened during those two hours waiting for our room. It all became a blur caused by the overflooding visual, kinesthetic, olfactory, and auditory stimuli coming our way. I have never done drugs, but I can imagine that they might have a similar effect to what I had experienced within those two hours in Times Square.