Thursday, May 29, 2008

Brooklyn

I'm lying on my back on the lower roof of my building, my eyes fixed upon an imaginary point some distance from the ground. I can hear 2 different car alarms in different directions and the slow steady murmur of hundreds of industrial fans within a several-block radius, all of this punctuated by the occasional pop that could as easily be a bottle rocket as a gunshot. I can see very few stars, and almost as many airplanes; they fly by at a rate of about 3 per minute, some so low that I can hear the jet engines. This is the closest my life ever gets to silent. I'm typing on a laptop I bought with Christmas money, sitting on a couch I inherited from a college friend - practically the only one I made - who moved to California, inside of a room that I built with my own hands and my friends'. Said friends are in the next room, loudly watching Muppet Treasure Island, below me, typing on their respective keyboards, or sitting in the kitchen sewing patches that say "In Grind We Crust" into the seats of their shorts where the constant friction of bicycle seats has worn the fabric down to nothing. This is the city where characters in movies rush headlong into romantic destinies on the crowded grid of streets and sidewalks, the bourough where Paul Auster's smugly liberal figments read great works of literature and occasionally produce them and where Jay Z and GZA were born. It has a romance to it if you let yourself be duped, but really it's just a bunch of people in one place living, buying, fucking, and doing whatever it is that people do. New York will not change your life, make it more glamorous; destiny is not waiting for you around the next street corner. Sometimes it feels like home and sometimes the farthest thing from it. Right now, I know that I need a break. I need a break from car horns, billboards, models and fashionistas (that make me feel insecure). I need a break from bars (that I rarely go into), rooftop dance parties (that I never attend), and hip clubs (that I avoid at all costs). I need a break from commercialism, consumerism and Americanism. I need some time away from confusing people and confusing situations. I need some space. I need some time to think, to get my shit together and figure out what I'm doing. I need to figure out who I am and what I want.

I guess it's pretty foolish to assume that a bike trip will give me all of that, but if it just gives me some of that, if it just gives me a break, it will be worth it.

1 comment:

allison corinne said...

I have to say, I see where you are coming from, but I disagree :)

"It has a romance to it if you let yourself be duped, but really it's just a bunch of people in one place living, buying, fucking, and doing whatever it is that people do"

Yes, but generally these people tend to be more intelligent, socially/environmentally/economically conscious, talented, driven and ambitious. Maybe the city's romance doesn't live up to everyone's expectations, but that isn't to say it's not a romantic city at all (especially when you compare it to other locales.)

"New York will not change your life, make it more glamorous; destiny is not waiting for you around the next street corner."

No, New York will not do these things for you -- neither will any other place for that matter -- but you can do these things with New York as a vehicle. The opportunities are definitely there, you just have to guide yourself through them. Asides from a few things like big game hunting, hiking *real* mountains, or snorkeling coral reefs, almost anything is possible in New York. If you can't do it here, it's entirely possible it can't be done.

"Sometimes it feels like home and sometimes the farthest thing from it."

I agree with this one, but my personal theory tends to lean in the direction of "home is where the heart is." To me this means, in a less traditional sense, that home can be a number of places; the front-runner of which can potentially vary from day to day depending on changing emotional needs.

I hope this doesn't sound too preachy, it's just my two cents :)