On this day, 7 years ago, I flew off to New York City. To be picked up at the airport (can't remember which of the two now) by a roommate-to-be that I'd sought out on craigslist; she described herself as gay, a Barnard grad, with lots of books and "3 cats."
I'd sold my car weeks earlier. My brother was out of town when I left, so he'd lent me his car the day before, which I piled up with a last few things and my cat Gracie (whom I had to traumatically chase through the house to get her loaded into her carrier) and then drove to his nearby empty house, delivering my last belongings to his front porch, then awaiting the cab that I'd called to meet me there. It was a drizzly, upper-50s day. I had a huge hangover (unwilling to get off the computer the night before and get a good night's sleep); I attributed the low-key fear and melancholy to that.
Airport staff in Austin had to search the cat carrier. Gracie briefly escaped, caught by a gentle airport employee.
My craigslist roomie was at the airport to greet me, as promised, to my huge relief. Looking, also as she promised, like a "cross between Spanky McFarland and Linda Hunt." The room, in an apartment off of Riverside Drive, was large and worn, books lining one wall, with a gorgeous view of the Hudson, which, to my amazement, had huge ice chunks floating in it. The comforter that I slept under on my first night in New York City reeked of cat piss. (There were at least 7 other cats in the apartment -- poor Gracie.)