We’ve always been close. Forbell Street in East New York holds so many memories of my childhood. My parents lived there when I was born, my Aunt Tena lived on another part of Forbell, and my best friend Colleen lived upstairs. It was my home away from home even when I moved to Ozone Park, Queens. I remember block parties and being scared to ride on the top row of King Kong. I remember the shootout hostage situation, too. No one was killed; don’t worry.
My family left you and the city when I was 13. We were robbed. Home invasion. We were home. My dad was at work though. That’s another story for another time. We moved upstate where the cows roamed. It was weird at first. I hated it. Then I loved it and vowed I’d never move back to you again, dear Brooklyn.
I broke that vow and moved back in 1998. Or was it 99. How old am I? Nevermind. I moved back to you Brooklyn but this time it was a short stint in Park Slope, then to Greenpoint. Eagle Street. Back when hookers used to walk on West. Way before the condos or cool restaurants and bars opened up. I lived in so many different Brooklyn apartments after that – different places in Boerum Hill, Cobble Hill, Carroll Gardens, and Gowanus.
I got married, had twin babies, and Brooklyn was our home.
Last year we left you, dear Brooklyn. It seemed like the best idea at the time. Like better than making pancakes for breakfast kind of great idea … with Nutella on top. I went back to the cows and moved up to the country with the frogs and the bugs and more than one bathroom and a garden and a porch and hammock swing and the space and closets and a washing machine and dryer and all the things I thought was a dream come true. I left you, dear Brooklyn, for New Paltz. And all those years ago, I had left New Paltz for you.
My dearest Brooklyn, I need you again. I’m coming back to you. I’m changed even though it’s only been a year. You see, I’m getting divorced. Yes, me. Don’t feel sorry for me, though. I just need your busy streets more than ever. I need your crowded parks with kids playing even in a little rain or a little cold. I need your walkable things to do. I need your Chinese take-out and Buddy’s Burritos and your delis with Dancing Deer Blondies. I need my friends and family in my favorite borough. Brooklyn, I need your love. I need your friendship. I need to find an inexpensive but good apartment for me and the kids. (Help!) We are figuring this out – what to do, where to live, new routines. It’s hard sometimes. It’s … complicated. It’s life. My life. Changes. I’m figuring it all out as I go. It’s strange, a little, to work – function -- within all of my changes going on. But I am. And since I’ve been reaching out slowly and sharing those changes, I’m finding out how good you’ve been to me, dear Brooklyn, and how good the people of Brooklyn have been to me. You’ve made me feel it’s possible – you always have even when I moved to you all those years ago without a job and an unclear direction. I feel positive. I have to be. I have two amazing kids who remind me every day how I’m able to accomplish the most incredible things. After all, I made them! In my belly! I do things that are totally right sometimes! And I know I can still do that. In Brooklyn. Again.