On My Own
Now that I had played the lead in a play in Seattle, I felt fully prepared to take on the New York stage. I didn’t know anyone there, I had very little money, I had no work prospects and didn’t have a place to stay. It seemed the logical choice. I loved New York and had wanted to live in Manhattan on my own since the debacle of my time there completely dependent on another person. This time I would have me and only me to depend on and I was ready for that. I needed to get away from everything safe and secure and be on my own. I felt that I absolutely needed to do that. I could stay at the YMCA when I first arrived, get a job, and, after I found an apartment, my mother could send Squeeky to me. After I came to the conclusion that I was going to move to New York, I took a drive north, then west through the Tulalip Indian reservation to the rocky beach where I liked to sit and meditate. I asked God for direction and guidance and didn’t feel a moment’s apprehension or fear. I drove to Seattle and bought a few books on getting settled in Manhattan and was ready to make the move.
By this time, nothing I did surprised my mother. She didn’t approve of my decision but soon realized I was determined to go. She promised she would take good care of Squeeky and send him to me as soon as I found a place to live. So I packed my clothes and belongings into several big suitcases and flew to New York. I landed, hauled all my suitcases out to a taxi, and we drove into Manhattan. The first sight of the city was an even headier experience than when I came to be with Steve. I was excited at the prospect that I was actually going to live here by myself and enjoy the city without anyone telling me what to do, how to do it, how to dress, or control me or complain about me or make my life miserable in any way. As soon as Squeeky was with me, every time I came home, all I would get would be love, acceptance and understanding, and comfort if I needed it. What a concept! I had been waiting for that since I lived alone in my apartment on Moorpark.
The cab drove through the streets of New York and I drank in all the sights as if I had never seen them before. I felt I couldn’t get enough of every single thing that added to the atmosphere of energy and life that emanated from every person, car, building, street and sidewalk we drove by. We pulled up in front of the YMCA on the Upper West Side, I paid the driver, and he unceremoniously dumped all my suitcases on the sidewalk. He sped off and I lugged the suitcases one by one up the stairs, into the lobby and over to the desk. I was told I would have to put them in a store-room for now until they were ready to have me check in, so I did that and went outside and walked around, getting reacquainted with my old neighborhood, had a bite to eat, and went back to the Y.
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