After months of summarizing horrifying atrocities and political nightmares, returning home took weeks. Even if I was already inside the apartment.
It was the gathering of pieces and reconnecting heart and soul molecules that took time. Sleep helped but only so far.
Sometimes it was watching a British reality show where you could watch babies after babies after babies being born. Sometimes that worked.
Other times it was watching documentaries about eccentric artists or stand-up comedians or visionaries.
But there was this one time, where the only thing that worked was curling up on a kitchen chair and watching every Barney Miller I could find on youtube.
Morning coffee in hand, 12 hours would suddenly pass. I did this for weeks. Nothing much else happened. Just heart and soul coming back together into a recognizable sense of self.
I didn't give much thought as to why or how or the deeper meaning. I just soaked up every second of every story line, every actor, every character actor...
Just recently, in the midst of horrifying atrocities and political nightmares, every day announced another obituary. It was almost like dominoes falling ... Bowie, Jean Stapleton, Paul Kantner, Glenn Frey, Alan Rickman...
...and then it was Abe Vigoda. Detective Fish on Barney Miller.
And why and how I had lived in Barney Miller for all those weeks suddenly became crystal clear.
That show was filled with the accents, the rhythms, the grammar (or lack thereof) of all the people who were the adults when I was only a kid, the adults when I was only a young adult... the adults I was a peer with...
It was where I returned to the city I remembered, the streets I ran a little wild in, the friends I missed.
Like Det. Fish and Yemana (Jack Soo whose voice I knew intimately from my beat-up vinyl record of Flower Drum Song).
They were where I could hear and see my New York again. And when I was in pieces, they showed me the way back to that home, back to a heart and soul I grew up with.
Happiness Is Where the Heart Is and the Heart Is Always Home
Sunday Memories: When the City Was A Black and White Photograph