Taking a trip outside the city brings a fresh perspective on how we interact. It's a stark contrast between how incompetent, easygoing, and friendly the residents in Blakeslee are and how cold, calculated, and competitive the New Yorkers are.
Leslie, my friend took it upon himself to ferry five of us altogether to a gated community in the Poconos in his old Benz. Little did we know the car suffered not only the wear and tear of time, but a broken fuel pump. The car broke down randomly on the streets. As we waited for what seemed like hours, passing drivers would pull up to check up on us to inquire about what had gone wrong with the car.
It was refreshing to have multiple people come to our rescue. They gave us phone numbers to towing companies and local garages. As they hopped back on their pickup trucks, we waved them away and expressed our gratitude with a grin and a nod.
The car would intermittently turn on after stalling for an hour on the road. Her yellow flash on the dashboard would flicker off when Leslie put the car in ignition and the raspy cough of the engine purred more consistently into a steady hum. I exhaled deeply and thought— "Thank you, God."
She broke down again 3 minutes later. We got out the car to push the SUV a couple hundred feet and was ready to be driven again after half an hour. With our fingers crossed, Leslie passed Blakeslee Garage, our safe haven. We only needed to cross the street over to the garage only to have her give up on us.
I've never really understood how slow suburban life was or appreciated my urban life until then.