Home. In my heart, beating so far away.
It was five o’clock in the morning. I stood outside The Roosevelt Hotel on forty fifth street in Manhattan, breathing, smiling, feeling invincible. A homeless guy asked me for a cigarette, cursed at me and walked away. I remember thinking how strange it was that I didn’t feel scared or overwhelmed. I knew then that I belonged. It was liberating.
After just having travelled for thirty-six hours, I was rattled. I wanted a bed, a warm cozy bed. This was the first time I had left home and in that moment, I wanted nothing more than my own bedroom. Instead I was escorted to my hotel room. My father called right as I was trying to sleep to shake off the jet lag. Worried, he asked me, “Are you okay? Did someone use your credit card? Where are you?” “It’s the security deposit Baba”. I told him. You have to remember there is a ten-hour time difference between Lahore and New York. His concern was endearing.