Thursday, June 3, 2010

more lies are told until they're truth

I could live anywhere, but I do not. I live in New York. City that never shuts up. And it gets to be too much sometimes, too big, too tall, too gritty hot from bus exhaust coughing down the avenues.

Then again, there are outdoor bars in Bryant Park, sunsets over the Hudson and cheese-stuffed 'shroom burgers at the Shake Shack. The nights are warm and the women in printed skirts and dresses. Everyone optimistic.

They always tell superheros: with great power comes great responsibility. Well, they should tell New Yorkers that with a great city comes a great big hand on your chest, seizing, pressing.

You guessed it. Today is another of those chest constricting days of stress that begin with corruption and imbecility at the office and crest into an exhausting dance card full of enriching activities that sound great a week out, but day-of all you want is your couch, a glass of Chenin Blanc and a box of Cheez-Its.

How daily life can be so heavy, I'll never know. I'm doing so well this week, coming off a wonderful two weekend stretch with my mother, rejuvenated by my own renascent joie de vivre, buoyed by the constructive decisions I'm finding it easier and easier to make. I'm having a much easier time grappling with my own indecision. Looking at the fork and taking steps—radical steps.

So why is my breath still lodged in my gullet? Well, Rome wasn't built in a day, folks. I'm still that girl stymied by conflicting, paralytic desires, still the girl who armadillidiidaes herself into a fetal ball at the first sign of confrontation.

And so, instead of having 'the Talk' last night with Non-Date, I sat there on the park bench with my cheese'burger,' politely staring off across the dark recesses of Madison Square park and, well, keeping my mouth shut. I swear one of these days I'm going to slink the bra of my appropriateness right through my sleeve and throw it at this man—just before tearing screaming topless circles around him in the wide open public spaces we city-dwellers squat in for the better part of our lives.

It was only with one hand on the car door that I managed to say, "Well, we did it again." And he muttered, "yeah," with, admittedly, what might have passed for regret. Raincheck number 423. Better luck next time.

Truth is, I no longer know what I want him to say. I used to know. And now . . . nothing. It's as if I've lost my appetite for requited affection. I'm lonely as a widowed grizzly (in unseasonable hibernation), but the thought of male company, ambiguously intentioned or otherwise, has started to make my stomach turn.

I'm navigating around a well of nausea. Swimming in contradiction.

Anyway, for a three day week, this sure is a long one. Maybe because I haven't taken a proper lunch hour in almost a month. Maybe I'm a grumpy, ungrateful Dull Gret. Or maybe: with great decisions come great doldrums. As if the engines revving your life suddenly slow to a crawl just to build you up for the good shit you (hopefully) have coming.

Here's to opening and to upward, e. e. To leaf and to sap. I'll let you know when my late blooming leaves start to pop.


Kathleen said...

Maybe it's because I shun New York, but I have never thought on New Yorkers as optimistic. Ambitious, maybe. And driven. But not generally happy.
Then again, I live in the woods.

Anonymous said...

Just move to Boston!

Hannah Miet said...

Whoa. Chenin Blanc and a box of Cheez-its. You strike me as somewhat of a mind reader.

New York flips on a dime, I think, and you don't know if it's you or the city. That's when you know you're no longer a visitor. You're moods belong to the atmosphere.

That optimism.

One night you'll be at a rooftop party and the sun will stay out an hour later than expected, and someone made sangria and you're talking about real things with people whose names you don't know. You have deja vu and you say "I think that deja vu means you're exactly where you're supposed to be" and when you say that, it will give someone else deja vu.

Another night you'll be at a rooftop party and your thighs feels sticky under and almost stuck together and everybody says they're artist but only seem to be talking about dating and drugs. Someone will have deja vu and someone else will say "I think deja vu means you're exactly where you're supposed to be" and other people will nod and cheers and you will observe the moment from a spaceship and watch the skyline while the wine churns in your stomach, mixing with empty.

I feel you.