It has been fifteen years to the day since I moved to New York. In 56 days I'm going back to England for good.
I thought I would be moving here forever. New York has been my home for a decade and a half: I was a few blocks away from the WTC on 9/11, I missed the great blackout by accident, I was here for Sandy. Many of my good friends live here. I have lived, lived and lost in this great city.
Then I had some strokes here. I was hospitalized here, and managed not to die here.
Now, I can't afford to live here any more. Every visit to every doctor is another unexpected bill and this is an expensive city.
I could survive here, and I have, but the city is packed with all the things I can no longer do, or can't do without inevitably comparing the many joys I had of this place with the degraded experience I have now. Increasingly, I'm relying on my memories of the city, not on new ones.
This country is bonkers and gets increasingly insane with every day. It is so easy to ignore just how dangerous the prevailing mindsets are when you are affluent, white, male, able, and living in a big city, but not so easy when you can't work and are no longer comfortable.
I have no regrets that I lived here, but I have no tolerable future in this city. Such is life. One great decade and a few years that weren't so great are not too bad at all, by my reckoning.