Again, at the crossroads …….

Bethelhem Teame


Eureka! I have found the reason why I have always been obsessed with New York City.  It is because the city is divided with thousands of crossroads, just like my life. Dark humor. Yet, I have learned to laugh equally at both dark and bright jokes  nature conjures in my life.  Who can cruise life sober; without any madness, aloofness and such humors?

I left the office with no particular destination in my mind or agenda. Let the hasting feet of mine wind me through wherever they might like, as long as they bring me back to the familiar streets of my place. Once there, I think my mind can take over.  One can only hope.

I joined the rushing crowd that was hasting to get by; my steps were quick, matching their styles. In New York City, everyone is rushing, to and from. In New York City, everyone is always multitasking, even in the subway, where I have to listen to my voice messages, eat my breakfast and read the newspaper at the same time. But today I don’t really know why I am rushing like everyone else who is on schedule and perhaps has a destination in mind. Perhaps an annoying habit.

I stood at crossroads, one after another, giving me a split of a second’s chance to consider and move on with my choice in a blink of an eye.  With every corner and block comes a crossroad. That’s when I realized the cause of my deep-rooted affection towards this big city. The life of continuous crossroads. We share the same life soundtrack heavy metal with deep lyrics of crossroads.

At that moment of tragically beautiful realization, New York City winked at me from the shimmering reflection of the windows of the skyscrapers that have turned golden, basking under the warmth and glory of the sun rays that shined down on them. A sight to the sore eyes. Even if the eyes belong to a cynic who questions everything in life.

Misery loves company, they say. That never couldn’t have been any truer than this. I love New York because I feel like we share the same thing in common. I was standing at the crossroads, both literally and metaphorically. New York was standing ahead of me with many more crossroads that have been part of her for so many years now. If I should ever personify New York, I would call her a she.  I love her company as much as she does her crossroads; mind you here, she hasn’t yet disclosed her affection towards me. But I love her all the same.

 But sometimes I despise her too; maybe my emotions are rising from pure envy or confusion. I am not a hater. I am not. That is probably the best attribute I am blessed with. But New York brings that side out of me for some unknown reason.  I loathe how calm she can be, living with so many crossroads, how she has owned the crossroads within her and had turned it into a beauty, a quality, a hallmark. I am afraid our love story is one of those that is on an on-and-off basis, passionate and consuming, destructive and constructive, elevating and demoting, active and passive, pushing and pulling; a love affair that possesses both forms, sides and meaning of an emotion. Full of bittersweet experiences and feelings. That is unpredictable. Confusing. Enervating. Demanding and challenging.

‘Why stay in such a relationship?’ a wise might ask, a good question. Indeed.  I have always asked the same question, time and again, upon witnessing such dysfunctional relationships of others. I am not at liberty to give explanation for such relationships other than mine. It wouldn’t be right. I wouldn’t fully understand the truth behind it either. But I do know this about my relationship and why I stay in it, for the sheer pleasure of feeling alive. The rush of adrenaline. The energy of the ever-busy city and its tenants. The crossroads, both literally and metaphorically, that you have to cross every single minute.  I am alive in pursuing or getting involved in such relationships. I know some of you might be rolling your eyes in disbelieve or irritated at my ridiculous reasoning……..but it is the truth and as the good book says it, the truth shall set me free.

Yet, I am standing at another crossroad. I have only seconds to make up my mind and choose one. I realized all the ways lead to a destination, as long as the direction is right. Still, it feels intimidating to come across a crossroad and choose one, when readily there are four unknown results of your choice that instant and at the finish line. I can never shrug off the feeling that I am overwhelmed with or am filled with after choosing a road, I am filled with questions, questions I can’t answer but could only anticipate; how would my steps be if I had chosen one of the three others? Will it be as confusing, challenging, demanding as this one? I could only go forward with a dawdling heart that keeps questioning the road it has embarked, wishing to know the avenues of the three other streets I haven’t chosen to travel this time.

Here we go again, I am standing at another crossroad…….


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