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Seeing Into The Deep – Melissa Mendelson


A long time ago, I used to commute to Manhattan. I would pick up the Shortline Bus in Orange County and ride it down to the Lincoln Tunnel. At the Port Authority, I would make my way to the subway, where we would all squeeze in like sardines, and I would ride those trains, staring at my feet until I arrived in lower Manhattan. All this for a temp job at a law firm, which would never lead to anything, but the tide would turn a few years later. I would start working for the State of New York, and I would learn about my heart. I know that if I never got the state job, I probably would not be here today, and my trips down to the city became medical. I owe my life to Columbia Presbyterian and Weill Cornell Hospital, and most of my doctors are affiliated with them. And I still go down to the city with my family, even for routine things. I’ve had my brushes with death especially with my heart, and after that, I view the world differently. I see people for both their beauty and their flaws. I watch them stare down at their feet, trying not to notice the world around them, struggling to figure out who they are. I still don’t know who I am, and I wonder, is it easier to forget, disappear inside our own minds and hope that the world finds its way back from the brink. I know that it won’t. If we want this world to change, we can’t expect others to change it for us. We have to find our own way, shed light on the things that we see, tell the world how wrong it is. There are so many people suffering out there, and we don’t want to see it. But we have to because our eyes can’t stay shut for too long, or we risk going blind.

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