So, I went to New York City for reading break.

Photo credit: Whitney Shier

I don’t know what it is about people, but every time I told anyone about my trip, I was bombarded with the question, “What are you going to do there?”

What do you mean? What am I going to do there? Do you want a full list?

Well, the first thing I hope to do when I get to New York is take a breath. After that, I plan on taking another breath. To be quite honest, I hope to continue to breathe for my entire trip. After I take my first couple of breaths, I plan on getting something to eat. It’s going to be cheese pizza. I am going to pay $4.00 for it. I’m going to sit down, and I’m going to eat it. That will require me to open my mouth, put some of the pizza inside of it, close my mouth (swallowing whenever my mouth feels full), and then repeating the process until all of my pizza is gone.

From there, I plan on getting up, pushing in my chair, throwing out the napkins and the paper plate that my pizza was on, saying “thank you” to the nice man who served me, placing one foot in-front of the other, and then walking back to where I am staying.

Bored already?

What do I plan to do when I get to New York? I plan to exist. I plan to do whatever the heck I feel like, whenever the heck I feel like it.

Perhaps I will be overcome with emotion, cry in the stacks of the New York Public Library, and then Instagram some photos of its beautiful architecture. Perhaps I will go to Barney’s, fall in love with a pair of pants, realize that there is no price tag because rich people don’t care about prices, cross my fingers, and buy the jeans anyways. Perhaps I will spend my entire budget on those pants because I was too embarrassed to admit I couldn’t afford them.

Maybe I will get yelled at by a crazy woman on the subway. Maybe she will call me “whitey” and tell me that she doesn’t like me. Maybe an overly-tipsy (but endearing) Italian man will offer me “great sex” in an obscure park. Maybe I will kindly not accept.

It is very likely that I will watch Coyote Ugly the night before coincidently walking right past the actual bar that inspired the movie. It is also very likely that just as I am about to enter the bar, a man will come bursting out the door yelling and screaming about the police ticketing his motorcycle. It is very likely that I will then be too afraid to go in the bar.

I might meet a cute hipster boy in a western store in SoHo. He might tell me a bit about his life. He might suggest that he is really good at geography. I might ask him if he has been to Quebec. He might tell me “no,” but he’s been to Montreal. I might stifle my laughter.

I might make it home safely and live to tell my stories. You might not care.

I will tell you anyways.

Ashley Kilian