Thursday, November 4, 2010

sleep is a crutch for the weak

You are a so beautiful lady . . . Why for you live this bad neighborhood? Huh? Is not good . . . No very nice. Why you no live somewhere nicer? Nice neighborhood. Huh?

This from my cab driver last night, whose services I employed to ferry me up to my new sublet in the nosebleed section (once I realized the 1 train was going to continue crawling the whole way uptown at two miles an hour). He hit every red light on Broadway, his boxy SUV clanking and wheezing, the interior construction squeaking against the body with every start and stop. I think he even slowed to catch a few just to drive up the meter.

I mean, I get it. Gatsby said the very same when he drove me home on Tuesday (read: Wednesday, 3 am). This is not a very nice neighborhood, young lady.

But Gatsby, bless his lion heart, meant it with some degree of protective concern. Cabbie Douchebag only wanted to give me grief, accept my 2o% tip and burn rubber down the block before I could get my key in the front door. You'd think if he'd been truly worried, he might have idled there to see me safely inside.

Ahem. New York is never a simple barrel of charms. (Watch for the wrist-chomping piranhas.)

Not that I have been a resident of this neighborhood long enough to discern said charms. I moved in shotgun style on Monday night and have come and go at 8 and 2 am daily. It is little more than a bed, two loquacious cats and the piano sonata I wake to on my cell alarm.

This week, I left the idylls of underemployment behind. One part time job mushroomed into two full time jobs, and I logged 44 hours in four days, plus the midday commute to Newark. I also fought off a flu with little more than Odwalla juice and Emergen-C.

The best part is, I'm so tired I can barely think. (Perchance to dwell.) My eyes are two deflated punching bags, glued to my face like a third grade art project. Were it not for my artists' masochism, I might have slept last night–but no—I went dancing.

I went dancing because Spumoni was there (two nights only, direct from Livorno!) and because I keep my promises. (That and my body begged for it—I can dance when I cannot stand.) I went dancing and it was delirium, another world's fatigue in alien legs, a dream I don't remember.

I sweat. And it was not the sweat of crowded milongas in overhot rooms; it was a fever flush, clammy and delicate, as the whole room blinked and buzzed around me.

I woke up this morning to the spareness and the rain and I was cured. Tango as bloodletting?

Highlight of the week: I am halfway to a draft.


Bathwater said...

I always say we make time for what is important to us.

Anonymous said...

Your cabby probably had more concern than Gatsby! Find yourself a safe place to live, romantic is grand but life is real, get yourself safe and stop with the illusion.There is so much more to life than the now!

Phoenix said...

I think tango cures your ills much better than boys (or cabbies) do. I hope you feel better soon... in the meantime, celebrate the fact that you're too tired to over-analyze life (we all need a vacation from it now and then.)