One of the most profound moments in my life, the kind of profoundness that takes your breath away, was the lighting of the Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center in 1997.
We were having a big office party in a building that overlooks the skating rink. It wasn't exactly a party for me. The guests were a few hundred obnoxious, self-important people that I answered to, 40 hours a week. It was only natural that they would forget that during this party, I was a guest as much as they were. It was bad enough that they expected me to answer the front door, and the phones. Some of the caterers couldn't make it, so I was also expected to wait on them hand and foot.
I was busy pouring champagne in trays, and trays of glasses, and passing them out to the guests. Right before the time came for the tree to light up, I took a bottle of champagne, and a glass, and ran down the hall to an empty office. I locked the door, and opened the window. It was one of the most intelligent things I've ever done in my life!
I sat in the cold, dark room, drinking my champagne, and stared down at the thousands of freezing people, below. They had been standing out there in the cold for several hours. Yet, they were certainly having much more fun than I was! It was an ocean of energy that I'll never forget! I could see them, but they couldn't see me.
They counted, from 10 to 1, and the tree lit up. The cheering of the crowd filled the air with the most amazingly happy sounds, that bounced off the buildings and traveled up to my window. I was so taken by the beauty of the moment. I inhaled, as if to embrace it all, and become part of their joy! I've never felt such an amazing emotion.
It made me understand why all those people would be willing to stand there in the cold, just to live for that moment. It was one of those moments that I actually liked humans. And, I did it alone, without anyone there to ruin it for me.