Right now I’m drinking diet coke alone in a hotel diner at 11 pm on a Sunday because it’s the only place with free caffeine refills + a desk-like surface.
I say that like it’s a last resort, but this spot is perfect. I woke up from a night nap & was itching to do something (ie. to feel like I was ‘doing work’). Thankfully I remembered that I’m staying at a business-ey hotel & anyone will hopefully assume the best of me (ie. business-ey work obligations) if they spot me furiously typing on a tablet late at night. (A high hope considering that I’m sitting cross-legged in a booth sucking soda like it’s crack.)
The fact of the matter is: I just want to do work.
My boss asked me a couple days ago, at our end-of-the-internship lunch, how I felt about leaving New York. “You’re ready to get out, aren’t you?”
And, jeez, I had complained so much while I was there. But I blanked whenever I tried to think about leaving.
Complaining, for me, is inevitable. I’m kind of a whiny little bitch. And really, everything I whined about in New York was true. I was completely overwhelmed by how completely overwhelming everything was. I did feel like I couldn’t breathe for the entire time I was there / I couldn’t really sleep much at all / I was really terrified by how constantly ‘needing to do something’ I felt. I was itchy, all the time (though that was partially due to all the nightmarish cockroaches I’d seen).
I really wanted to be okay just BEING / NOT DOING STUFF. That’s a meditative tenement that (I believe) is vitally important to acceptance&calm&existing peacefully. So it sort of freaked me the fuck out that I was getting so far from it. [And, god, maybe in a month I’ll have a meltdown and we’ll all be like "whoop, look at that, crazy bitch should have listened to herself a month ago when she started to notice that she needed to chill the fuck out."] But…I might want to try this doing lots of shit constantly thing for a while now.
Now I feel unhappy unless I’m typing or planning or coordinating something. It’s a scary mode of constantly feeling busy.
I told my boss something like "I get what they say now, about how New Yorkers don’t know that any place exists outside of New York."
I was so itchy that I knew I wanted to leave (so I could stop itching) but I also lost the ability to imagine being anywhere else. Maybe a city so crowded&oppressive&filled with constant opportunity makes you addicted to productive discomfort.
I don’t know what it is. And I’m gonna stop myself before I add too much more to the pile of meaningless crap poetic writing that tries to make sense of New York.
I will say, however: what it felt like to me was riding in a car with the windows down (like a dog) while making yourself keep your eyes open.
And now, the thank-you message that I wrote while buzzing off caffeine during one of my last mornings in the city, posted reluctantly because I hate my own sentimentality but it’s cute enough & I owe these people a thank-you:
To the people of my New York:
I’ve had a wonderful time with all of you this summer. Lots of you are people I met through my production internship with a canary torsi—amazing artists who I got to watch at the Invisible Dog, creating 4 hours of organic, layered art before my eyes on a nightly basis. Some of you are international neighborhood bartenders and baristas who let me linger at your Williamsburg bars to hear you recount fantasy-esque tales of Australian coasts and Turkish mosques. Some of you are young professionals who I randomly met on the streets—bachelor parties in the East Village who took me out for beer to chat about our undergraduate philosophy departments, grad student outings in the Theatre district who tricked their fellow real estate students into believing that I was a member of their class and a trapeze artist, and music producers in the Metropolitan Ave subway station who graciously and immediately offered lighting and filming assistance for my show—and followed through with their offer, too.
ALL of you made my first time living in the city far more liveable, comforting, and interesting than it ever could have been without your friendliness.
(Really though, fuck travel blogs.)