And this was the daily goal: a prominent trademark law firm in this building, at the corner of Lexington and 43rd St. I was a sort of glorified calendar-keeper for a group of top-level trademark/copyright attorneys. There was nothing edifying about the work, though I did get to see some of the slimy underbelly of the vampire-squid capitalism of Vanity of the Bonfires NY, as a real experience.
It was a year or more of hard work commuting to and from this building that gave me the resources to explore deeper my emerging lifelong philosophical and spiritual interests: foremost among them, the experiences presented by Emerson and Mahler. I had no social life during that year in New York — no real partying. I was just squirrelling away chestnuts to be able to jump off into some deeper study, which I knew to be graduate school but I suspected (because I had for decades) that it meant something monastic, as well. And I might need to support myself without a consistent job in any uncertain period of discernment, you know? That’s what I was sometimes considering. And I knew it really meant taking full responsibility for my collage loans (I had something like $30,000 debt hanging over my head right out of college) and having the money for a flight ticket to Korea. This building helped me to answer some of those questions AND helped me to pay for graduate school entirely myself, without needing to borrow a nickel from friends or family. So it is also an important marker on this pilgrimage of farewells.