Regina was aware that having New York City as your hometown, the place you would return to if you needed to get back to your roots and be comforted, was strange. Wasn’t a hometown where you got off a Greyhound bus on a dirt road, carrying a duffle bag, and everyone ran out of the house to hug you?
Instead, whenever Regina returned from out of town, she knew she was getting close to home when she began to see big foam dice dancing from the rear-view mirrors of other cars passing her on the road to the city. She realized she couldn't get much primal comfort here.
She often wondered what it would be like to have that special thrill of seeing New York for the first time. Being born in New York City was like coming into the world already having had your first orgasm. There would never be the shuddering recognition that your life had been rearranged for all time.
Even though-- like most New Yorkers--Regina often hated living here, it always took her by surprise how violently she loved this city—how New York was not only her city, but her country, her race, her sex, her religion.
Still, many times she felt like leaving. Moving to some orderly, clean, rational, sensible, well-organized, friendly place where all the construction was finished. Where the number of people in the average parade was not larger than some countries.
But she was afraid that when the relief and pleasure wore off, the very ease of it would bore her and she would secretly scream, "What have I done??!"
She would yearn to see straggly plants breaking through concrete, or growing on rooftops in what seemed nothing but air and dust, the hearty fearless birds, and the sudden glimpses of fiercely blue sky, so prized for its impossibility.
Yes, she often thought of leaving.
But every time she saw photos of the city, even while she was in it, she would miss it, get homesick for it. As if she were already gone, she would desperately want to get back.
Although she was still here.