I think I promised to tell you weeks (or was it months and months) ago how I was surviving my new job. Time has flown and here I am on my third week in, still alive and kicking although I could be dead in a ditch for all you guys know. I have been too busy to write- too busy moving and staying alive and eating pastries and vegging when my energy gave out, which it does about every three days or so. But now I am here, eating Oreos and milk in celebration (celebration of finding affordable Oreos, if you must know what I’m celebrating) and writing to you, even though I really should be asleep in bed. Don’t you feel special?
What a couple of weeks it has been. Work is going well although my brain feels fit to explode by the end of many days. There is so much to learn, and the most challenging thing so far has been the ins and outs of insurance. Don’t quiz me on it because I would be sure to stutter but having started with 0% knowledge of insurance, I now have 100% more than I did. That’s how it works, right? My coworkers are amiable and congenial, and I haven’t seen much of the patients yet although I listen to them in the waiting room over my shoulder. Once I’m trained in I’ll have much more face-to-face time with them, but for now I’m happy to leave them in the capable hands of the learned as I struggle through my lists of calls and emails. The days fly by though because there is always So. Much. To Do. It’s kind of fun.
There is a little cafe a few blocks from the office I’m training in at, and many mornings I go early to work and sit there with a pastry before starting. I call it my strategy to make sure I’m not late as I figure out the public transportation, but really it’s just so that I can try as many pastries as possible. I’m working my way through the glorious display- chocolate almond croissants and guava cream cheese danishes and chocolate chunk muffins and lemon poppyseed scones- each one is better than the last, and I couldn’t pick a favorite if you held a gun to my head. It’s not a bad way to start my mornings, and I make up for it by walking miles and miles each week, so many miles. That is the way of us New Yorkers.
One highlight of my past week was meeting with one of the only friends I have here for a dinner. Hers was the first familiar face I had seen in weeks, and you don’t even know how glad I was to see her smile coming down the sidewalk. She took me to a luxuriously fancy taco place in Manhattan where we lingered for hours over our salmon with roe and salsa tasting bar and steak and corn ice cream tacos. Everything was superb, the conversation, the food, the location…thank you Homy! It made my week to see a friend.
I also moved last weekend, did you know? I was staying in an Airbnb for most of my first month here while I searched for the right place to live. Living in an Airbnb sounds great and all, but what they don’t tell you is just how gross it is to find a huge wad of an unidentified stranger’s hair floating in the toilet, or how inconvenient it is to wait to make your food till the other strangers have left the kitchen, or how hard it is to have no window in the only space you can call your own. The last bit especially got to me much more than I realized it would. But I finally found a rent-controlled little house in Queens with Christian roommates and signed the lease. It looks straight out of the eighties but it’s cozy and super cheap for here and my little room has a window overlooking the street. And did I mention it has a balcony from which one can see sunsets? I didn’t even know about the balcony till after I agreed to live here, so that was an excellent surprise. The day before I was planning to rent an unwilling Lyft driver to take me and my chatteral to my new abode, my new roommate texted that the old roommate still had her uHaul van available and did I want them to come pick up my stuff? Did I ever! So I moved my few boxes with hardly any sweat, and then the generous roomie tracked down an air mattress for me to borrow since she couldn’t abide my plan of sleeping on the floor. The first night I spent miserably cold but after that I learned to wrap up in my fuzzy robe and huge fur coat and leggings and socks and all was well.
I spend my evenings going to Tuesday night prayer meetings at Brooklyn Tab where someone is sure to hug me and the music washes my soul, visiting the Questioning Christianity sessions at Redeemer Presbyterian where my brain gets expanded and I feel as out of place as can be among all these great minds, exploring random spots on a whim, and buying entirely too much food. It’s not quite a routine, but there are beginning to be familiar faces at the places I visit each week even if they have no idea who I am.
Speaking of which, tonight’s prayer meeting at the Brooklyn Tabernacle was particularly good, since the Brooklyn Tabernacle Singers took over a good portion of the service. On the stairs I was startled to see the face of the Amish Aroma Girl, and hastened onward in fear she’d recognize me too. Then later on in the service when the preacher said in passing that we should smell like Jesus, I couldn’t help myself and simply shook with laughter for a while. The people next to me probably thought I had gone mad, but what was I to do!?
Ok, midnight is nearing and I really must wrap this flighty little letter up and bid you adieu. It’s been nice chatting, and if anybody wants to mail me some perfume for my aroma or some Oreos and a blanket, I now have a mailing address! Ask and it shall be given you. 😀 (I kid, I kid) Have a lovely and warm night, y’all.