Standing Ground



I’m going to freeze my ass off in New York. And it’s sixty degrees here in San Fransisco. The houses and buildings are awesome and characteristic. None of them are very tall, it just seems so because of all the sudden peaks, valleys, and drastic elevation changes. I’ve seen a few people standing in window frames looking out over the road and it leaves me feeling eerily exposed and watched. I can see wide open window casings in every direction… so low to the ground and hovering over the hilly sidewalks. I’m decidedly not in a trendy part of town as everything’s drab, laid back, and terribly blah. I broke another suitcase but I did see the ocean. I have a Russian driver who cruises just below the speed limit in a black Lincoln Town Car. And the clouds are so close to the ground it looks as though airplanes simply have to leap off the runway to get sucked up into the sky. This whole city is nothing but uneven standing ground and weird sensations of vertigo. I was entirely underwhelmed by San Fransisco. And I still want to eat, live and breathe New York all the time. Dirty, grungy sidewalks and hating the necessity to walk through Times Square to get to TSQ. The cold metal poles under your palm on the train and the lamb gyros on every corner… I’m so super sleepy. And I do not recommend flying from Phoenix to San Fransisco then to New York. That’s nine or ten hours in an airplane today. And I didn’t go to sleep last night. I was in the ER for this damn respiratory thing and the nurse kept telling me they couldn’t finish up and let me drive home if I couldn’t wake up long enough to listen to discharge. When I got to Phoenix Sky Harbor at 5:00 am my bag was over the weight limit again and only two coats came with me and I had to sacrifice a bottle of Vodka. I was already hopped up on Robitussin and I probably couldn’t drink all of it without passing out. I drank what I could after spiking a Coke from a flask and ditched the Svedka bottle in the bathroom where I hope someone found and drank it.

Anyway… between the weird, lightheaded after-effects from the oxygen or whatever breathing machine they had me on at the hospital, the utter and total sleeplessness, the liquor, and the cough syrup… I’m happy I maintained a light tension-drawn buzz like electricity bouncing and humming from one end to the other. A wire drawn tight across the frontal lobe of my brain somewhere but I maintained consciousness like I try to do so often on these trips. I’m more responsible by myself. I don’t know if it’s because I subconsciously know someone’s there making sure (or not making sure) I end up where I need to go. Or if I’m just very blatantly not ever alone for very long. I’d like to start a book that way. Just alone. I think it’s naturally a humanistic sort of trait to seek out another person. That’s funny. Because the most I ever feel like I really have it together is when I’m by myself. That whole year I spent isolated when I cut myself off from anyone and everyone around me was when I was finally comfortable in my own skin. Not in my own skin… let me put it another way. I conducted, orchestrated, and even reveled in routine. Routines I created and maintained. Almost the entirety of my day was pretty much lived out in silence. No TV. No music. Just my systematic routines and movements alone with my own thoughts. I’m going to miss that very much in New York City. Just silence. I’m sure I’ll find it from time to time; but I don’t think it’ll be the same kind of silence I’m used to at home. There’s still a radiator. The hum of florescent light bulbs. The cars there are always honking. I don’t know if it amuses the driver or what. It’s so loud and so many cars are honking at once it loses its emphasis and instead, automatically blends with all the other noise. You expect it there. And now, in only a few short hours… I’ll hear it again.

Later. Same day… (after finally flying the last eight or nine something hours that I’ve flown today… I’m finally coming into Newark, New Jersey.)

It’s really weird, coming here. I’m thinking about how much home has changed me these last five weeks instead of how much New York had changed me from home. I spent five weeks in New York that changed my life and I loved it, and five weeks home I’ve been lost and hating the misery. If I could stand myself side by side with the long, blonde haired version of myself who first came here mid-late November running away and escaping everything, I wonder how the two would compare. I wonder which I would prefer. I want to be eager, wide-eyed, and amazed with New York while I’m here now and I want to let it change me all over again.

I’m nervous. I’m sitting perched by the window waiting for the moment the plane breaks through the clouds and you can finally see the city lights on the skyline.

And there it is. I’m here.


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