The Most Human

You always feel the most human in New York City. 

I had a few margaritas with my friends and found myself singing “Stand By Me” with a bunch of strangers while waiting for the L train. The platform is a melting pot of various walks of life and out-of-tune harmonies. But that doesn’t matter. I feel like I’ve never felt more alive. Just pure, raw, authentic emotions coursing through so many people simultaneously is something that should be celebrated. I believe when people ask, “Why did you move to NYC?” this is the reason I’m obligated to give. The fact that I can unapologetically be myself is the sole reason I live in The Big Apple. 

I’m smiling through my face mask and absorbing the energy of MY city. I belt out, “OOOOHHHH STAND, BYYYYY ME! OHHHHH STANNNDDDD, BYYYE MEEE.” A black girl with long dreads sitting on a white upside-down Home Depot bucket strums her guitar and belts Ben E. King’s lyrics into the New York City night. I don’t feel judged or ridiculed as I look around at the others who have joined me, including my group of friends as we all say goodbye to one another and depart for the night – our hair billowing in the wind from the passing trains. 

Oddly enough, it was natural. I felt connected to so many strangers at one time that I thought, “how can this be real life?” Or rather, “how can this be such an amazing life?” In this city, I’m constantly reminded that it’s these little moments that truly matter.

4 thoughts on “The Most Human

  1. Oh my heavens, Dani, you capture the experience of living in New York City so vividly! Yes! This is what it’s like, especially when you’re young and footloose with everything before you. The feeling of being alive; that stays through everything. You are definitely a born New Yorker, destined to be here. And this is just also an amazing piece of writing! “Our hair billowing in the wind from the passing trains”—just wow!


  2. This so beautifully captured what it’s like to live in New York City, to BE a New Yorker. I lived there for nearly ten years over twenty-five years ago and still remember it like this, like how you wrote. Thank you for that. May you continue to have these moments.

    Liked by 1 person

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