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I've never considered New York as permanent. It was always a temporary place. I looked at it that way to remain unattached, be ready at any time for whatever was next. It had drawbacks, at times everything seemed shallow - my friendships, my work endeavors, my attempts at networking. Would any of it last?
Of course it will. This year has not been for nothing. I've learned more than I could have imagined. In far more fields than I came to education myself in. I love it here, yet know that now is the time to leave, I must respect that.
Water, like tiny raindrops on a brilliantly sunny day, falls onto my head and shoulders. I resist the urge to look up and find the source, knowing it's from a window air conditioner three or four stories up.
I weave around an Indian couple strolling leisurely with their baby carriage. They stop in front of every window to point out purses or jewelry they like. Tourists fill the sidewalks and every now and then I'll duck to avoid ruining their camera-phone snapshots of the Empire State Building.
"Miss, would you like a handbag?"
, I think, and keep walking.
“This is a
4 train. Next stop: 96th street”
“Is this your stop?”
I opened my eyes halfway and looked at the man next to me. Had he waken me up? Maybe it was the announcement. Or the train stopping.
I shook my head slightly and smiled inwardly, 86th street was typically where the last of the white people deboarded the train. I had always wondered if people thought I was confused and had missed my stop when I continued my journey past that. Here was proof that, at least one, assumed I would get off at 86th street.
The man seemed friendly. A bartender I decided, based on his easy-going friendliness and apparent sobriety at 4am. He asked my stop and offered to wake me up for it. He’d be on til almost the end. Sleepily smiling, I told him my stop, 3 after his. He seemed good-hearted and I found I wasn't wary of him, unusual for me.
When the seat across from us opened up he moved there, saying something about once having to wake up another girl for her stop. I leaned my head against the window again and closed my eyes.
I sometimes see people in the street and think it's you... That's weird, right? It's been more than a year. And even then it wasn't as if you were a
part of my life...
I'm not sure what we're doing. We still talk - talk of whimsical, entirely impossible things as if they'll be happening tomorrow. In between chatting about the sometimes harsh truths of what life is actually like, always evading the answers to questions or the stories that would point out how different we are.
Because we are different, very different. And yet, I think maybe, just maybe...
He walked through the station dragging a sleeping bag behind him. I noticed him as we loaded onto the subway car; me, Brian, and Jenna, gathering around the pole in front of the door.
"Give me your cigarette!" the guy yelled as he walked past our door.
Without thinking, I took the cig from behind my ear and threw it out to him. He picked it up from the ground, raised his hands above his head, and swayed side to side.
"You made his night," Jenna said.
"That sucks. He needed a smoke."
I found I had to respect him.
I haven't been someones best friend in years. Maybe that's why I took you seriously when you said we'd be best friends. Thinking of the fun times one has with, and only with, a
friend, I wanted it to be true. Maybe I miss that.
I'm always a part of trios. And the third member of a trio, joining groups that are already partially formed or being quickly knocked down on the totem pole by a new member. I'm close to all of my friends but always know that, if push comes to shove, I'm the odd one out.
Thinking: what a classic day in New York.
Catering a bar mitzvah at a synagogue in Brooklyn this morning, getting hit on by the creepy old chef as well as the much cuter bartender's assistant while meeting the demands of party goers.
Spending the afternoon in Williamsburg, drinking iced coffee and eating bread and cheese while catching up with a dear friend on her rooftop porch.
Doing some quick shopping in Union Square before meeting up with friends in the Bronx to spend the night eating, drinking, and dancing the night away at a Spanish restaurant/lounge in New Rochelle.
What might life be like if everyone would share their true feelings with others? If someone was mad they'd say it, if someone liked someone they'd tell them. It sounds so simple, and seems like it would solve so many problems.
But I suppose that goes against human nature, doesn't it? We humans fear rejection... or upsetting others... or creating drama... Instead we worry, we overthink, and, in doing so, we create problems that weren't there to begin with. We presume and anticipate the feelings of others as if we hold all the secrets of the universe in our heads.
I like to think I'll live on the beach one day, in a little cottage with my special someone. I imagine going for morning and evening walks along the water, eating on a little patio overlooking the beach, and being soothed to sleep by the waves.
Water has always been incredibly soothing to me, I have this need to be close to it. In times of great stress or confusion, whenever I feel overwhelmed or am on the verge of tears, need to think or need to calm down - those times have always warranted a warm, relaxing shower or swim.
I noticed the man as soon as he walked in. He bee-lined to the retail and gave everything a once-over. Picking up a beer coozie, he asked how much it was, said he'd buy three. I rang him up and offered a bag, it was too big, he'd put them in his pocket. He handed me a $100 bill. It was sticky, seemed fake. I looked around for a manager, none to be found, of course. We don't have those markers. What do you do in that situation?
I handed him his change, he thanked me and left.
Work, work, work. Play, play, play. Friends, bar, drink, shot, music, music, money, money, hugs, goodbyes, moving on? Yes. Tacos! Cheap, drunk, delicious. Taxi? No, subway. Stay awake, gotta stay awake. More drunks - shouting, cursing. Please don't talk to me, please don't talk
Next day - repeat. Friends, bookstore, shopping, bubble tea, pizza, chat. Work, work, work. Party, party. Rooftop bar, nice view, gimlet. Guy named Guy, bad handshake. Moving on - drag queens dancing, laughing, watching, amused. Wandering streets, searching, searching. ID's? Cider, Shiner. Snap Chat, "let's be
" Pizza? Home. Taxi? Split it? Yes. Food? Cheeseburgers at 3am.
It's cold in my apartment. I woke up sweating and kicked off the sheets. My bed is covered in clothes, but so is the couch, so I slept in the bed anyway. I thought it must be 90 degrees outside, and humid. But it's not, it's barely 60.
Now I'm in a sweatshirt and yoga pants- eating leftover Spanish food and trying to motivate myself to do the work I actually need to do, in between quick phone calls and thinking about what I should wear out dancing tonight. At least I got this entry done. Four words short though...
My family is here to move me. I guess that means this is real. I don’t think I’ve let it hit me yet.
I’ve been happy about it all along but now I’m questioning. I feel like my world is being turned upside down, then remind myself it’s my own choice. Mostly.
I’ve changed so much since coming here, something that’s not easy to admit as the old version of myself would see the changes as negative. Can I even fit back into the world I used to be in? What’s my next step? Where does my gypsy spirit belong?
“Need anything from here?” He asked, nodding towards the gas station.
“No, I’m good.”
He came back holding up a cigar. He opened the packaging then rolled down the window and tossed it out, followed by the cigar’s insides. I almost said something about littering but didn’t want to sound like I cared.
I watched him arrange the fragrant green clumps on the paper and roll it back up. I’d told him earlier I didn’t want to smoke but he must have thought that just meant then. He started the car and we headed north, passing the joint between us.
I pushed him away “No, I don’t want to do that.” He pulled me close again – whispering into my ear, “Aw baby, why not?” I love when guys call me baby… Why not? I shouldn’t have had that last drink… or I shouldnt have smoked. Now I was in way over my head. I’d told him I didn’t want to go too far. I said that right? Something like that. He was kissing down my neck, trying again. “Babe, stop!” I pulled myself together and moved to the end of the bed. He looked at me. “You’re serious?” Damn Scorpio.
They're taking over. It's their music playing, their tv shows and choices of movies on the television. I can't get into my dresser without running into a suitcase. I shouldn't complain though. And afterall it's their money that's spent on meals and the little extras, like ice cream last night. But I didn't want ice cream, I wasn't hungry.
That's another thing, our schedules are completely different and this space is too small to respect each other's.
I put my unopened half pint of ice cream in the freezer section of my mini fridge, knowing it would melt. It did.
I hate goodbyes. The finality, the awkwardness. It takes balance to have a goodbye with someone which is actually fulfilling. In my usual awkward manner I tend to stay too long with a person, past the appropriate amount of time for a goodbye or just give a quick hug when the relationship allotted for more or in most of the cases this time, have a big, final goodbye with someone then see them the next day. But I guess it's better to say goodbye to someone more than once than not at all. That happened with a few people too.
What if I never make it back? What if I never see any of my friends again?
Don't think about it.
How am I going to find a job? What if nowhere I applied hires me?
Don't worry about it yet.
There's so much to unpack and nowhere to put it...
We'll deal with that tomorrow.
I wonder what would have happened with L...
Nothing good. Now he'll just be another J.
Why can't a guy come along when there's actually time?
You'd be too scared to let anything happen anyway.
What am I doing with my life?
Today I wanted to wear a sundress, my clothes are still packed though. In my closet, I found a nearly-forgotten sundress Mom had made me. When I put it on the memories came flooding back.
I'd last worn it when I said goodbye to my grandparents, before moving to NYC. My granny had told me I looked like an angel, or a model. She later told my aunt she didn't want me to go, I was just so sweet and innocent. That was the last time I saw Granny healthy.
I dug through my suitcase to find another dress.
I went to see Jessie yesterday. She was cleaning at David and Katie's. She gave me a big hug and said how happy she was that I was home and how much she missed me.
Then why don't you call?
Why don't you e-mail and ask how I'm doing?
She said we would hang out this summer and I had to come over and see her apartment. She babbled on about married life and how she's the happiest she's ever been. Her tone was completely flat and everything sounded sarcastic. I wonder how long they'll be happy together.
I was painting today at my uncle's garage and the heat was sweltering. I was working in one of the back rooms, priming and dripping sweat when a small storm swept in. The room was instantly cooler when the rain started.
I went to the open garage door to watch the storm. It was the perfect country scene: fields of gold and green dotted with red barns and white farm houses while lightening streaked a dark grey sky.
The raindrops bounced and splashed off the waiting cars and I remembered that meant the rain wouldn't last long, and it didn't.
"I have the hiccups." -Sister
"Drink water upside down!" -Self
"Pfft! That's a lie, it doesn't work." -Dad
"Yes it does! That's what my mom always had us do when we had hiccups." -Mama
"It's not even possible! How do you drink water upside down?" -Dad
"I can do it! I'll show you!" -Self
I grabbed a cup and added some tap water.
"You put the far side of the cup on your top lip and lean forward..." I demonstrated.
"Hmm... And does it work?" -Dad
"Sometimes, Anna taught me."
"Hmm I guess it must work then."
I turned around, facing the hallway and saw a little girl. She had a doll in her right hand, dragging on the ground beside her and a straight razor in her other hand.
She walked slowly towards me and stared with an unsmiling face and haunting eyes. I closed mine and shook my head.
it's just your imagination
, I thought and quickly shutting the bathroom door behind me.
I took a deep breath before re-opening the door, reminding myself the little girl wouldn't be outside the door. I opened the door and saw Sister laying on the floor. Oh shit.
I just found a bug crawling on me and killed it, now I feel like they’re crawling all over me. I hate that feeling. I got it a lot in my apartment between the centipedes and ants, an occasional waterbug.
I’m not sure what this bug was, I crushed it before inspecting it too closely. First it was on my shoulder, I brushed my hand over it and felt the crunchy bump. But I lost it after accidentally brushing it off. I killed it when it reappeared on my leg but I still feel it crawling all over my skin.
Would you be down to meet somewhere, like Florida, chill for a couple days?
I tried to imagine that. First, having the money to just say “Yeah, sure!” and fly to Florida for a weekend. Second, to up and leave my family, to go meet up with a guy I barely knew. They would be appalled. There’s too many people that would let down: parents, aunts and uncles who trust me, cousins who look up to me… gotta be the dream-chasing but grounded good girl. I don’t believe in reincarnation but at times like these I imagine, in another life…
Dreams are so weird. Last night I dreamt I was pregnant. The baby was yours. Which was annoying to me since we hadn't ever had sex. I wasn't pregnant for very long and I didn't get very big. I decided to keep the baby but I was thinking about adoption more and more as the dream went on.
We had a little girl and she was perfect, but so, so tiny. I think I texted you the day after she was born to say you were a father. You didn't respond or come around though...
It was a weird dream.
It's been pretending it's going to rain all day. One moment it's sunny and beautiful and five minutes later there's dark clouds and the sound of thunder.
I love a summer thunder storm. There's something so refreshing about it. The clean, heavy smell of rain right before, the electricity in the air as lightening streaks across the sky, the way rain can fall heavy with high winds or light and peacefully, as if it's trying to calm the thunder's rumbles.
I watched from the front porch last night- a butterscotch-colored cat in my lap and lightening on the horizon.
In college, my boyfriend's friends dubbed my car the "Deer Slayer" after he hit and killed a deer going 73 while driving it. We were all on the way to a local truck stop restaurant for some late-night cheesy fries when it happened. They were just trying to lighten the mood -- I was pissed at him for wrecking my car. The "ex" was added to boyfriend soon after that event.
The hood, headlight, and passenger side front fender all had to be replaced and now my car is two-toned. I haven't loved it as much since that relationship.
I met with a graphic designer yesterday. She lives in Phoenix but went to school with my mom and offered to mentor me.
We met for coffee and talked for almost 3 hours. I'm overwhelmed by all the advice and guidance she gave me. I've been needing someone to help me figure out what my next step should be.
I'm also a little discouraged. Her "if I were you..." scenario wasn't what I was hoping for and the more I think about it, I'm not sure it's what I actually want.
I'm at a major crossroads, seems I always am.
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