It’s true: New York still feels like home. I tried to unstick myself, but in the end, I guess it was not the city, but my life in it which had become “koyaanisquatsi” – which, in case you’ve never seen the film, means (in the Hopi language): 1. crazy life. 2. life in turmoil. 3. life disintegrating. 4. life out of balance. 5. a state of life that calls for another way of living.
It isn’t as if I hated my life here before I left – I can’t claim to be anything but fortunate when it comes to the path that my life has taken – the opportunities I have been given, all my life, to explore, wonder, wander, dream, love, make mistakes, try again, learn. Though it is true that I can sometimes be caught wishing that life were more of a fairytale with a happy ending, I know in my soul that it is true that it is all about the journey. There is something about my journey through this time and space that lends itself to philosophy – philo meaning lover and sophos meaning wisdom: I am enamoured of both love and wisdom, and I have so far had the sort of life that has allowed me to pursue both, to be a student of love. Perhaps one of these days I may even be wise on the subject. But somehow it seems that just when I think I’m getting the hang of things, the universe confirms, in no uncertain terms, that holy shit I got it all wrong. Luckily for me, broken hearts write the best love songs – at least the ones I’ve always liked the most.
All that being said, the truth of a broken heart, at this stage in the game, is that nothing is really broken. Bruised, perhaps, tired and sore, but not at all hopeless – such has not always been the case for me. I think most of us can have a hard time maintaining equilibrium, especially when circumstances are beyond our control, when hopes are dashed, when we come to believe we’ll be be seeing nothing but pairs of cherries, just to find a line of lemons instead. Maybe it is just a philosophical coping mechanism, but I think there is truth to the statement that letting a thing go is the only way to see if it was ever yours to begin with.
Then again, there’s a chance that, once you let it go, you’ll realize you didn’t love it so very much after all.
Not so with New York, at least not thus far. There is something about this city that just runs through my feet like a current and races through my veins and fills my lungs, makes me drunk as I walk down my new street, smiling in the springtime sun. Yesterday I donned my only outfit that passes for evening-wear, since most of my clothes are still in storage or packed into my car in my grandmother’s carport, and took the train to the Gansevoort Hotel on Park Avenue where I was meeting my beautiful Italian friend Sylvia and her Dutch boyfriend Robert. There was an Italian happy hour, full to the gills with be-suited and smiling Italians drinking Peroni and eating hors d’oeuvres. Robert and Sylvia came on their bikes, so when it was time to head up to Sylvia’s office for a fashion show/ fancypants event, Robert let me hop on the back of his cruiser and gave me pretty much the best ride through midtown I have ever had. It was warmish despite the onset of evening and I rode sidesaddle, like the women in India do in their saris, as Robert remarked. I was grinning from ear to ear as the towering buildings slid by like cards, shuffling memories through my head and Sylvia looked so elegant in her Dr. Scholls platform shoes, up past Bryant Park we rode and I recalled a summer picnic there – not yet a year ago, but lifetimes have passed since then – when Sarah and I munched on goodies she spread out on the old orange tapestry and drank champagne from bodega cups, watching the Wizard of Oz – the story of a girl who goes on a long, strange trip, just to find her way back home again.
We parked the bikes and bypassed the line of people waiting to get into the event, like VIPs, which is always fun when you just cruised up on two wheels. Sylvia is an architect who works sometimes in this collaborative shared space, which also happens to be an event space which they rent out for parties and, in this case, a fashion show / benefit. We tried beer and cheese pairings and sipped cocktails and watched the models display their wears (get it?).
On Wednesday I moved most of my things and the remainder of Nora’s out of the old apartment on West 4th, and it’s a good thing I waxed poetic about it when I could, because Tuesday night I was taking down curtains and packing up boxes, not unlike my last few nights in Brooklyn last summer before I took off for foreign lands, but somehow easier because it wasn’t my stuff, for the most part. The moving guys came the next day, and so begins my life in Williamsburg.
I never intended to be a Williamsburger, but here I am, loving it after just a few days, though the change in the weather can’t hurt, either. There is nothing like the joy of sitting on one’s fire escape on a sunny afternoon, writing, listening to music, listening to the unbelievably loud meowing of some hidden cat. Manhattan peeks through the trees on the far side of the backyards behind my new building. It’s a different life than my last life in New York – different folks, different scenery, different job – that’s right! I’m working part time for a screenwriter who teaches classes in Brooklyn and Manhattan on writing and film, both things I love. And the fact that I can walk to work is a big plus.
As the technicolor of spring sets in, the cherry blossoms bloom like the dickens on streets and in gardens and on everyones’ Facebook page. The full moon has been looming over the city, portending deep change, transformation. I thought it was just something energetic until I got some news this morning that made me realize this moon isn’t fucking around. As much as I might have thought it would be possible for me to pick up the pieces of my old life here, I now know beyond a shadow of a doubt that I am starting from scratch.
Love and miss,