The first few days spent walking the grid of Manhattan’s Upper West Side proved to be somewhat of an identity crisis. Not so much in that I didn’t know who I was, but that I was unfamiliar with whom the city was. The flickering yellowed street lamps and shop overhangs couldn’t have belonged to Manhattan, for they were purely carbon copies of the streetlamps and shop overhangs that had caught my eye in London that past January. And surely the sound of rushed Hebrew murmured between puffs of a cigarette wasn’t the soundtrack to the streets of Morningside Heights, for that was the background music of the Tel Aviv beach. Even the way fall smelled in New York was stolen from the golden-red rustling trees at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. I was frustrated. Instead of a novel experience, I was caught in a montage of past ones.
The pilfered beauty of fall passed to leave winter in its wake. Yet when I noticed the spindly, naked trees standing in a bed of white snow I did not think of my hauntingly beautiful week in Poland. Instead I thought of potential snowball fight opportunities in front of Butler and that one day it snowed in Texas. It went unnoticed, the disintegration of the veil. Perhaps I was too busy experiencing new things to pay attention to the montage of memories fading into the shadows.