1 month ago
“One of my first days in New York—I went running with a friend in Central Park. I pointed at one of those big apartment buildings on 72nd Street, and said: ‘God, I’d give anything to live there.’ But the devil hears your prayers too. Ten years later I was jogging home to that very same building. I could see the light on in our apartment, and I didn’t want to go inside. I was in a marriage that I didn’t want to be in. A job I didn’t want to be in. I was drinking daily, way too much. I said: ‘God, I’d give up everything if I could just start over and be happy.’ That very night I got in an argument with my husband; and that was the end. When I first applied for this job, I felt like it was beneath me. I was angry at my situation. That first day they tried to send me to pick up trash along the Hudson. I said: ‘No, no, no. Anywhere but there.’ I used to jog along the Hudson; I was afraid some of my old friends would see me. So they sent me to Times Square instead. I worked there for awhile, but one day I got in trouble. And the boss said: ‘It’s the Hudson or nowhere.’ My phone bill was due. I didn’t have a choice. I’ve been here for a couple months now, and I can’t believe how long I was avoiding it. I love the sun. I love plants, I love water. The funny thing is, no matter how many times I used to jog down here, I never really saw it. I’d be so focused on me, or what I was trying to achieve, or the person who was in my path. Now I see the greens and the blues and the yellows. The view is just different when you’re picking up trash.”