I came across a picture of my younger self on a couch with a college boyfriend.
There was something strange about seeing myself so young --
Shocking actually --
That girlish face with dewy skin,
The brown hair falling down in curls on my shoulders,
The paisley dress,
The Navajo ring on my right hand,
My high school ring on the other.
That was me, I guess,
Gazing playfully into the future.
I was 21 and still a student at Johns Hopkins,
Writing my master’s thesis in Florence, Italy,
About to embark on a career as a newspaper reporter,
Hoping to make it to The New York Times
And return to Italy one day as a foreign correspondent,
Smugly assuming that I knew everything,
Confident that some handsome guy would always be there
To catch me.
Little did I know that, by the end of that year, 1981,
I would move to New York City,
Get fired from my first reporting job for insubordination,
Have my high school ring snatched off my finger
At gunpoint on a subway platform in Brooklyn,
And live to tell the tale of a thousand and one adventures
And that New York, the city I was born in,
Would become my home
And that, after all those years, I would still be that girl.
May 28, 2020