I Wanna Wake Up In The

I disappeared from here before New York Comic Con — and truth be told, the convention exhaustion is no small reason why I got so overwhelmed and stopped posting here — which meant that I didn’t share my dual excitement and terror about returning to the city that never fucking sleeps please God just shut up already for the first time in three years. It was something I was both breathlessly excited about, and endlessly nervous about, at the same time.

I love New York. It’s not just a trademarked t-shirt slogan, but the actual truth; I have such happy memories in that city, and there’s an energy and feel to it that genuinely can’t be matched by anywhere else in the world that I’ve visited. (London comes close, maybe, but that’s something else in its own right, another city locked in memory from another part of my life altogether.) New York is one of those rare places that I can close my eyes and picture myself in almost immediately, entirely — the architecture, the busyness, the crush and the noise.

But, again: the crush and the noise. The busyness. It had been three years since I was last there, and they were Pandemic Years, quieter and more withdrawn than most. The prospect of being in New York in COVID times was a scary one, just from the idea of all those crowds, never mind the mental math of surely I’ll get sick this time — math that’s just permanent in my head now — and everything else. As exciting as it was to imagine returning to the city, I was genuinely worried that it wouldn’t end well.

Looking back now, I feel as if my nervousness was misplaced, at least to the degree that the city didn’t feel any more or less dangerous than any of the other cities I’ve visited this year; while there was certainly some worry about COVID during the trip, that arguably had more to do with individual choices rather than an entire city, per se. I’m glad I got back there, even if I wish it had been a different trip for other reasons.

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