The fact that the city can still smell so strongly of urine after all those days was a weird comfort to me. It changes all the time and I was so relieved that, of course, it hadn't changed at all. A favorite restaurant on Bowery had closed, but I knew that, from my obsessive NY news stalking. Since moving away, I keep all the local news outlets in my social feeds, to feel any tremor or vibration of the life of that place from afar.
Once, in college, my high school boyfriend made a visit to my campus during his fall break. I was eager to see him, to see if our breakup was the right choice after all, to see how he'd grown without me, for him to recognize that I was doing well without him. I am sure I fidgeted with my outfit, nervously provided all the necessary background information to my roommate, changed my shoes a few times.
It was great to sit in the sun by my dorm for a little bit, introduce him to my new friends, see him in a new light and enjoy his company.
It was also clear, that despite a hint of his lingering interest, we were a sealed enveloped. All of his pencil drawings of small monsters, the notes we'd leave on one another's windshields in the student parking lot, both our junior and senior prom photos - it was all in that envelope, and time had taped it shut and it was just better that way. But it was still nice to sit by him to remember it all.
You can see where I'm going with this.