46 West Drive
I never liked the house. We were living in Manhattan and I was commuting to a teaching job (more about that another time) on Long Island. The commute was a killer. Sometimes it took as long as 3 hours to get home. Traffic on the Long Island Expressway came to a near standstill once I hit the Queens border. The 42 mile trip, that should have taken an hour or less, became a nightmare; it was an hour to get to Queens, an hour to get through Queens and an hour to get across town from the Queens Midtown Tunnel to our apartment on the West Side. For about 5 years we’d talked about leaving Manhattan. Both of us had been born there and lived most of our lives there, but it seemed to be time to leave. But we weren’t leaving Manhattan, Manhattan had left us. It had changed. It was no longer the Manhattan we knew, grew up in, lived in and loved. Then I got the teaching job (mistake number 1, but more about that another time) on Long Island and we started looking for a house. We looked at house after house with a realtor. We scoured the listings and my wife finally saw what she thought was the perfect house. But then it was gone. Every night, after the 3 hour commute, she urged me to ‘look again’. Then, all of a sudden, it was back. There it was; the perfect house. I was tired from a day of teaching plus the 1 hour commute to Long Island in the morning and the 3 hour commute home after school. But that didn’t matter. The house was listed again. We called. My wife couldn’t wait for another day, just in case it disappeared again or was sold in the interim or something like that. The owner called their realtor and called us back. If we wanted to come out tonight everyone would be there so we could see the house. We gobbled down dinner. At 8:00 that evening, after another hour plus drive out to Long Island, we arrived at the house. We looked around and, after taking one look at my wife, I knew she wanted the house. So I made a full price offer which was accepted. We went through the process and became the owner of the house at 46 West Drive. For 10 years we lived in the house. I never liked the house. Worse, I hated the neighborhood and the area. Every time I pulled off the Long Island Expressway, now going East instead of West, and turned into the immediate vicinity of the house I started to feel nauseous as I looked at the other houses on the final leg of my half hour to an hour and 10 minute commute, depending on traffic, and then onto West Drive itself. For 10 years we lived in the house. And I taught at the school where the false promises and lies had turned other dreams into nightmares. But the reality was that we got out of the house and the teaching job. Now we live in Florida.