My anxiety dream involved having to hand in my daughter's application for a selective citywide public middle school (I am a cliche) and discovering that the location for the drop-off had secretly been moved from the school to the Chelsea Hotel. But the Chelsea Hotel was bombed just as I rounded the corner, racing to get there before the deadline. I ran into the smoldering rubble holding this envelope with the application in it, and thankfully there were no people at all, even though there was twisted metal everywhere and smoke. I had to find the cardboard box I knew existed, in which to leave this application. I woke up in a sweat.
I think the dream is not only about a changing New York City, but also a changing me. I was once a 22-year-old who lived in a falling-down tenement around the corner from the Chelsea Hotel. Now I am a 44-year-old with a mortgage.