Every time I visit New York City I imagine a whole different life for myself. I picture myself living here. If I was 15 years younger I would probably love it. For a year, maybe two.
Normally I prefer quiet places and my personality is usually quiet, gracious, considerate and thankful. My personal pace is fairly relaxed and I'm more of an observer that a participant and I am rarely, by choice, the center of attention.
My impression of a typical New Yorker: brash, loud, rude and not especially considerate. The locals walk fast, talk fast and are fairly impatient. Normally I am none of that, except maybe impatient, at least when it comes to unnecessary or inconsiderate delays.
During several of my visits here, I imagined myself to be a New Yorker. Before my multiple sclerosis kicked in, I was a fast walker so when in New York, I would walk at the pace of a local and would be frustrated when slowed down by hoards of tourists. Sometimes I would adapt my exterior persona to be cool, quick, indifferent and a little brash, to match a local.
My fantasy was to live here as someone else, adapting the behavioral perception I have of the locals. This city could, in my imagination, give me the space to be a completely different person for a while; basically test-driving my alter ego.
I took on a bit of my alter ego attitude at dinner tonight, as I ate alone at the bar in an Italian restaurant. My mannerisms were somewhat aloof and indifferent, although I was totally paying attention to the conversations around me. The vision in my head, the fantasy me: I would probably chime in on the conversation to my right, two guys talking about the soccer game on the big screen, by adding my pro USA mentality to whatever team their family heritage led them to cheer for. I would have bought a round of drinks for the three attractive young ladies to my left, with an appropriate or inappropriate amount of flirting.
Of course I did none of that. I kept to myself, texted my gf to tell her I missed her, told bartender I enjoyed the meal, paid my tab, over tipped and quietly hobbled back to my hotel.
My imagined 'other life', like New York City, is a great place to visit but I wouldn't want to live there.