This picture is very important to me. Beyond it being a picture of Joe, it is a picture of so much more. Joe and I have many traditions that we have crafted together over the years. On our very first trip to New York when we were still pups, I took him to a fancy bar and bought him a Manhattan. Drinking a Manhattan while being in Manhattan seemed like just the right thing to do. I haven't ever liked hard liquor but Joe has always enjoyed the occastional tot of the hard stuff.
Our last few trips to New York have been without that tradition. After my last big illness I was just too tired to do much of anything after we got back to the hotel. But something wonderful has been happening to me over the last few months. I've been really healthy, free of any real illness for coming on to three years now. About two months ago I began noticing a change in my health. It was subtle at first, I wasn't sure enough to even talk about it. But now it isn't subtle.
My strength is coming back. Big time, coming back. I notice it in my lecturing, where I would hold back on a story to conserve energy for the day, now I can go at it gangbusters and still be breathing at the end of the day, still have energy for more. Now here in New York, I was tired after the day, but on the way back to the hotel, I found myself resting in the cool air conditioning of the car. We turned off of Broadway to go to the hotel parking area and I noticed a bar right on the corner.
We got out of the car and I asked Joe to take the briefcase up to the room and then meet me downstairs. He was shocked but agreed. I waited on the sidewalk and watched the world, literally, go by. When he came down we meandered by some of the stalls on the street and then I turned into the bar. Joe was again shocked but agreed. I rolled up to the bar and ordered him a Manhattan.
I had a glass of water, not just a glass of water, a $8.34 glass of New York Water. I watched him drink his Manhattan and I remembered the boy he was when we first came here together. I remembered the start of the tradition. I was glad to bring back something that meant something to the two of us. I was glad it was back.
And I thank God that I too, am coming back.