the first departure

its raining, I have a feeling in my stomach... what is it? 

I put my hood up, my headphones in and light a cigarette finding shelter under the J train platform.  I’m ready to embark into uncharted territory... is this how marco polo felt?  I’m sure at least comparable, but not even close to say the least.  the train is ready when I am. 

I have plenty of time to make my flight to paris, even with typical MTA service interruptions.  I hop onto the shuttle bus to cross the williamsburg bridge.  I have a strong aversion to busses for some unknown reason, but popping on the bus this time doesn’t feel so bad.  I give my seat to a young girl.  I love children. 

mamabear

as I pass over the water I wonder what adventure awaits me after what feels like forever I make it to union square. 

I need travel snacks!  one of my favorite parts of pre-travel.  a time to get excited for the journey that awaits.  a definite bridge into the unknown.  I speed walk down 14th street, it’s still misting, to my food mecca, hu kitchen.  100% organic, no sugars, no canola oil, no peanuts, no soy, no bullshit.  I love them because of their integrity to pure food, the way food should be.  I go to order some babaganoush and a salad and my love angelica is working.  she reminds me a lot of myself a few years ago. 

I wave down a taxi outside... I’m completely over the public transport system by now and I’m lucky as it’s raining and a cab comes over to me immediately.  it’s saturday afternoon, everyone’s inside.  “penn station please” as I prepare to take the NJ transit to newark.  he asks if I’m going to LI or NJ... “newark airport”  he pauses...

ahm, "do you want me to take you there?”

do I want to pay the price?  ermmm, I weigh the pros and cons for a brief moment, but once my mind settles on the fact that I’ve taken the NJ transit once before and got incredibly lost, I realise I don’t want to do that again, for it was not a simple ride.  I still need to exchange my dollars for euros though, which is right across from penn station. 

“just go to penn, I need to exchange money.”  he can hear uncertainty in my voice, and asks me again.  he takes me to a closer money exchange booth on broadway after calling them on his cellphone to make sure they are open.  as I’m about to exit the car, I wonder... is this a scam?  he seems way too nice, is he going to drive away with all of my bags?  I guess I don’t have anything too valuable in there, but then what would I do?  I am all packed and ready to go.  as I step out of the cab with the biggest breath of trust I can muster, I dash across the street.  as I wait behind the man in front of me, I turn around and see my cab driver, exiting the car and locking it… now I am confused.  what is this guy doing?  standing outside of his cab with his arms crossed.  he comes towards the entrance of the currency exchange and is standing there, watching me and in that instant I know he is protecting me.  as I finish, he shields me as if from a thousand bullets and escorting me from the window across the street.  he knew I would be an easy target walking out of a currency exchange booth.  I laugh to myself, at my luck and rightful paranoia as we sprint back to the locked cab. 

“thank you so much.”  I do the time math in my mind and relax knowing I still have an abundance of time.  his music sparks our conversation and our ride to the airport was shared with peace and compassion.  he spoke of his guru in rishikesh, whom he listens to with his family every sunday.  me and gaganjit talk about life, spirituality, india, ashrams and sadhanas and I feel so blessed to have hopped in his cab, for him to have chosen to pick me up, and for our paths to have crossed. 

punjabi

there is no traffic at all, and he explains to me he was worried for my safety when I said I was going to newark alone.  an angel in passing, allowing me to feel more relaxed for my journey into the unknown. 

he drops me off at newark airport and I smoke another cigarette and light some sage as I make my way through security, starry eyed and blissed out from the magick that the universe has just surprised me with.  a positive promise to commence my voyage.