Dear New York City,
It's never so easy to love you. It requires the kind of blind faith and stubborn inertia typically associated with religion or destructive relationships. For example, I don't think you ever tell ME that you love ME more than once or twice a year, and even then it's fleeting; over before I've even realised you're talking to me, specifically.
I'm absolutely not the first person to tell you this, but you keep getting away with it, and you always will. This week it's been so hot [I have Reverse Seasonal Defective Disorder], it's like you're slathering me in cheap syrup and eating me alive. It happens sometimes in winter too, I don't know how I ever waded through you sans iPod. You require soundtrack. Music for the madness.
Miranda: Why do I think living in New York City is so fantastic?
Carrie: Because it is.-Sex and the City
[Yeah, I just quoted Carrie Bradshaw. It's that kind of day, bitches.]
It's like you're always playing hard to get but we both know I'm not going anywhere. But what if I did?
Tuesday was the amazing incredible unbeatable consistently-awe-inspiring Layla Love's gallery opening. Whatever her eyes look at, I'd like to look too.
Wednesday, same time and same place for the same show but with another artist too. The art: so fucking beautiful. But Con-Ed, the Magical Mystery Tour that it is, backed out of its end of the deal and shut off the electricity at 7 P.M. last night. I'm sure Heather chewed them out, 'cause she's Magical Manager.
No air conditioning, no film screenings, no light. ["Without lamps, there would be no light." Name that movie.] On Tuesday, the electricity was on, but the AC was a little weak and it was still really warm. Which was fine, 'cause we all relocated to a hot rooftop cocktail party and got drunkity drunk drunk.
But last night! Con-Ed! Really Con-Ed, really? And what could we do? See New York, this is what I'm talking about.
Last night we were at Brite, which's next to Marquee, which is one of those things people talk about when they talk about you: I wanted Britney Spears [even bald!] to be there so we could make out.
But they didn't care for our wrist-bands and we didn't care for their line.
I put my head in my hands and said: "I am so OVER THIS CITY."
And Carly said: "It's so bizarre to hear that from YOU, of all people."
Like when Haviland asked me if I wanted to move to LA with her for a little while, I don't think she expected me to say "Okay!"
It is SO hot right now. No one should have to live in these conditions without a camel.
"Everything is faster here. There are too many people, jammed on to a tiny island where buildings and streets are crumbling and everyone is in a hurry. Often I hate it here. In the summer the city is sweltering, the air is stale and used up, recycled millions of times by others who have gotten to use it first. Only the poor or left in the city in the summer: anyone with money tries to escape. But in some ways the hard core of humanity who stay behind are the most interesting."
-Tama Janowitz, Area Code 212
(photo by me, not by Layla)
I don't know why. I don't usually get hangovers, and we had maybe three drinks or something? Actually. That's not true. We had more than three. But it was spaced out and everything.
I just feel like crap today. Now, it's almost midnight: yup. Still feel like crap.
(this photo is not by Layla)
So sometimes I think I can't take it anymore 'cause everything takes forever: 20 minutes to buy a goddamn toothbrush, and it's the most expensive toothbrush ever and it makes my teeth bleed.
You drive people to drugs.
OK I just opened my fortune cookie and decided whatever it said was going to be The Truth:
Re: your love ...
Sometimes it's implied, like on Tuesday night, en route to the show, when the 6 train came just as we did, and then the R, and we didn't have to wait long at all in that innermost circle of hell known as the subway station in August.
Actually, that's your best trick. When you show up, suddenly, on time. When you bring your A-Game.
There were moments not so long ago when you loved me, New York: temperate April, playing guitar on the street. And you get me on The Brooklyn Bridge. Every time! In Karen's BMW last May, speeding crazy, I sat on Haviland's lap and we screamed like intoxication itself, like our voices could break free of our bodies, I would like to step out of my heart and go driving beneath the enormous sky.
With Matty, bumping brilliant, with Lo in the backseat of ten thousand cabs, our eyes peeled like silly babies wanting everything ...
[New York, you loved me in April, when my Mom came to visit, that was a beautiful weekend.
It's amazing: the incredible power of being the one who chooses to leave. I always related to that line in "Closer": I'm the one who leaves. But this's hard too; to miss something and not want it back, either. There's nothing whatsoever to fix, nothing to do. You just wait to stop missing it. I chose to leave a relationship, I choose to leave a city, I choose to stay in a city.
But New York, you never give me any choices, you and your magazines. Your [redacted] magazine.]
After good work, a beautiful night, anything unexpected/promising, any Blister in the Sun type moment. When they play the song I want to hear. Laughter does it pretty good, too. Those are the moments that you kinda get me, and then I kinda forget all the other shit.
Moments when you hated me: forced to cry in public, the endless endless hours of summer, waiting for the train for two hours, when she ran crazy into Times Square to preach at strangers, got robbed ... the expensive pointless nights that give outsiders a reason to tell me they don't understand why I do it.
We love you anyway because everyone who lives in this city is a masocist. That's fine, everyone who lives in L.A. is a wimp.
(JK! Love you, both of you, all of you, all of you.)
Last night we were talking about expectation vs. reality and how that's everything. I mean: that's not exactly a revelation. We all know this.
My expectations for things are, in general, really low. [I mean, the only thing I still have high expectations for is The L Word, and clearly I'm in a serious state of denial about that. Like, up until the 41 minute mark when the episode announces it's unsatisfying end, I'm still totes convinced everyone could say something semi-intelligent and get naked. There's still 4 minutes! Someone could def. fuck in the next four minutes!]
Haviland was saying how the Miss Girl Nation contest at Nation was actually super fun, and then the consequential Miz Hot n' Fit robbery/contest at Bed was a letdown for everyone involved. Because we thought the thing at Nation was gonna be ... well ... Nation. And it was just: fun. So we loved it.
[Sidenote: J-Nads is currently IMing me photos of the mansion he's living in in L.A. I didn't think people lived in mansions except on 'Cribs.' I want to be sitting by his pool. "I will read your screenplay after a game of tennis, by the pool." Yeah, um, wait up. I wanna play tennis in West Hollywood with Dana, I wanna live in the mansion.]
And then I was thinking about the past few days, and I realised, actually: all the parts that had no expectation were actually the best parts.
The subway ride to the opening on Tuesday when Cesar almost made Carly and I both die of laughter. We almost lost him on the train. It's one of those stories I'd try to relate here that wouldn't be funny.
Walking from Brite to where Haviland was meeting up with a manager last night.
Sitting on the curb outside the bar with the two girls in that photo there, on the left, that photo's from my old apartment, obvs I was drunk, and that girl there closest to the window, Hebrew is her first language, I told her I used to speak it, we all talked about how great Hebrew is. Thinking in Hebrew or about Hebrew makes me happy. I wish I remembered it better.
It makes sense. The neat little roots. In Hebrew. Not many things make sense.
So even though I try to live sans expectation, even though I'm never ever the one to build something up, still, even for me: there are so many unexpected good things, which's why I'm still here, at least today.
When I say I'm sick of this city, it's the summertime: the transition between here and there always involves a big leap into the puddle of your unbearable heat.
But here's the thing about you, New York -- all at once, I am on my way. All at once-- one foot before the other, a ticket, a seat -- here, you help me, then I'll help you, this is how we go on -- as difficult as it is to get places, it is also so much easier because you can be passive about it. Today, for example, I went somewhere no one knew about [I keep doing this, different places, secrets, I think I need to, because I'm getting myself back], which's harder to pull off just about anywhere else on the planet. My car did not move because I do not have one.
Sometimes I am on my way somewhere on the train and I'm surprised I got there at all. I'm like "What's up. Here I am on my way."
We don't drive, we are only inertia. We board, we don't lead. In that way, you're like a monorail operated by voice or swipe -- we tell the cabbie: "Take me here," and he does. We swipe our cards, we board. We are lifted from one place and taken swiftly to another. We emerge from underground: the sun is shining, it's raining, it's danger, it's all bright lights, it's somewhere we shouldn't be or magically it is in fact exactly where I should be. It's home, we're lost, I can't imagine being anywhere else.