After a few months of living in New York, you found a post production coordinator salary position at a major marketing agency. It was an unnecessarily stressful job because the company was recently acquired by another advertising agency and layoffs were on the horizon.
Your boss was an old man who was clearly on a ton of adderall and/or cocaine and/or god knows what his script happy doctor was giving him to maintain his speed. He was always on level 10 go go go mode, red faced, and ready to scream at you because he found a very minor typo in one of your e-mails.
One day he punched a computer screen because you attached a screenshot to an e-mail instead of embedding it. He punched the screen and it fell on the ground, shattering all over his office. They had to completely replace the monitor.
You had a pretty bad commute. You took the G train from Bed Stuy and the 7 Train to Grand Central. You were often about 10-15 minutes late, sometimes more if the 7 train was down due to snow/bad weather.
You always gave the boss a heads up via text or e-mail if the trains were being dysfunctional. One snowy day you were about 10 minutes late. Right when you arrived to work, he ordered you to come into his office and close the door.
"Chelsea. No one cares about your silly train problems." he said.
You wanted to laugh so badly at the cartoonishly mean and classist thing he said. You couldn't and still can't afford cabs , and you don't have a life partner who can drive you to work in his or her BMW. You are a mere plebeian who relies on public transportation, which is often unreliable and inconvenient.
You realized almost 5 years later, staring out your window in your Crown Heights apartment that he was right. No one cared about your silly train problems. This city wasn't for you, it isn't for most people. It's for people who have abundance and for people who are okay with depriving themselves of self acceptance. You had your fun here, but it was time to go back where you belong.
You landed in New York back in 2013 with bleeding gums, an ear ache, and a backpack. You went from the airport straight to a hostel in Queens. You left NYC with a cat you found off the streets and 2 suitcases full of stuff and went straight from Hartsfield to your sister's house in East Atlanta.
You looked at your wrist. You got a peach tattoo right before you move to New York. You know deep down that you got it because you knew you were not finished with the south and it was never going to be finished with you. You were no longer enchanted with New York and its Woody Allen era intellectual magic, its gutter punk piss covered dive bars, and the people with personalities larger than the screens in Time Square.
You called your mom and said you're moving back home. One month later, you were on a plane back to Atlanta. In Atlanta, there are no train problems because the train is so bad most people don't even use it. In Atlanta, everyone is going to be late because of traffic.
In Atlanta, you have a past to contend with and fears to confront. You had so much fun with your silly train problems that seemed so real at the time. They were all folly and distraction from what you were running from.