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Hamesh. Five. Hamsa, Panch, Cinque, Cinco...
Five years ago:
Lisa was going to India and I asked me if I wanted to house sit for her for a month in New York. I had a dead-end job, a crappy apartment with roommates who watched TV and drank coke in the morning, and my 26th birthday was only days away.

The dreadful truth hit home: Twenty-six and I would never be a wunderkind. But there was hope with the right amount of perspective, I could get my life on track. With $100 in my pocket, I headed to NYC to stay in the Upper West Side apartment (where Jackie and Matt now live).

I don't know what I thought. I imagined myself wandering the streets of New York with my discreet notebook, encapsulating moments with muscular verbs and apt adjectives. I had come with a full backpack of poetry. I would read and write for a month in New York. Late at night, I imagined, with my face pressed against the window, listening to the crackheads bellow rage, I would be struck by the humanity of it all, and innovative prose would come pouring out.

By 26 I was not probably not as pretentious as I am making myself sound.

I had a few epiphanies. Like this one when Kate came to visit:
I met kind people, I had as much fun as you can have when you are broke in the big apple. I went on dates for the free dinners.My friend Mark came to visit and he took me to the opera.

I was not far off about inspiration coming from New York. Three years later, I started writing stuff on happyrobot. At first it was stuff like this and this

I write more in a week on the robot than I wrote that entire month in New York. Writing stuff here instead of in my notebook might not be as personal or "literary", but it feels good, makes me want to write more, gives me perspective, and makes me feel part of crowd of storytellers who are both funny and wise. Happy Birthday, Rich, happy robot day, happyrobot. I will raise a glass to all of you tonight.

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