I don’t sleep well, and seeing as I live in New York, it’s a pretty good fit. Whenever I really can’t sleep I start by laying in bed with my iPad. Usually after doing some work or watching enough stupid YouTube videos, I find myself drifting off to sleep. The danger is however I sometimes drop my iPad, which has lead to a series of dents around the edges of my device. However, on those nights where I really can’t fall asleep I just go outside.
My leather jacket is my favorite article of clothing. I bought it after I won my first championship coaching, and it is beat up to all hell. It’s got scratches all over the place, and the leather is broken in because I’ve worn it hundreds, if not thousands of times. The jacket is contoured to my body because I’ve worn it to death, and I think that’s the way a leather jacket should be. It’s simple, no ridiculous zippers or buttons, just something that’s meant to be made your own. It’s my constant companion on those late nights. No matter the weather, I thrown that on, whether it’s over a t-shirt or a sweater, and I just hit the street.
Once I leave my building, I just pick a direction and go. I follow wherever my impulse takes me, and then I just follow the green lights. I don’t stop walking, if there’s a red, then I cross the opposite way. I just keep going until I come up with some thought that I can’t let go of, or I hit a body of water. Usually it’s the idea that brings me back to my apartment, but on occasion I have hit the Hudson, or more often the East River. Something about seeing the city when no one else is out is soul affirming. You get to see the things that no one sees. You see the bakers filing in before dawn to get their bagels ready. You see the deliveries being moved by the bushel into the storage closets so that they have enough food to feed the masses. You see enormous 18 wheelers taking up half a street as they fill up Duane Reades full of everything. There’s this amazing machinery that keeps this city moving, and most of the people don’t even see it. It’s a beautiful thing, and set it to music, and it takes on a poetic life of it’s own. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve felt like I’m in a movie, my little sojourns taking on a bit of the surreal.
Most nights, that’s what suffices for my dreams, and when I eventually find my way back to my bed, I fall into a dreamless slumber. But tonight, I’m writing to you about it. You should try it sometime, it’s pretty amazing. And on a beautiful night like tonight, it’s heaven with streetlights and neon.