14 Oct 2003 I’m wet.
and no, this isn’t one of those messages that you find in your junkmail box from some anonymous hotmail user offering you free porn, so just put that thought right out of your head.
Just caught in a rainstorm is all – a lovely, warm, windy rainstorm making the streets of NY smell… different… sweeter… than they ordinarily might.
NY is a strange, strange place. Or maybe it’s just me.
I start a new day job tomorrow and it’s after midnight and I’ve had two glasses of wine and two cups of coffee and the rain is hitting my skylight and it-is-SO-loud it sounds like pennies on a tin roof and I’m wide awake and apprehensive still about what might or might not happen to me here. I start a new day job tomorrow. Oh, god – the day job. But at least it offers me structure, which is something I am sorely lacking here. Were I traveling, I think I would welcome the shapelessness of my days, but it’s a different mindset when you’re aware that you’ve actually moved somewhere and you’re waiting for something to happen but you’re not sure what or how to jump-start it into being.
But now I’m rambling and that wasn’t my intent.
My intent was – well… a chapter 1. Contact. I haven’t spoken to many of you in some time and it hasn’t at all been because I haven’t been thinking about you. I think about the people in my life often, too often, because it seems to anchor me to reality. But I haven’t at all been sure of how to describe my life here on the other coast, and so I’ve waited – making hesitant contact here and there, but not sending anything solid or substantive. This is my first attempt.
It’s a strange, strange place. I think I may have mentioned that. And in so many ways it feels like home in a way California never did. Except that it’s not my home. Not yet.
I live in an apartment with a skylight (now I KNOW I mentioned that). Two floors – huge by NY standards – two full bathrooms, living rooms, a kitchen and a balcony that comfortably seats twenty. For real. Not to mention access to the roof. Not to mention the fact that I’m in the funkiest, coolest neighborhood in Manhattan – east village – alphabet city. Cool-ass restaurants for days and walking distance to anywhere I might need to go.
On the other hand it’s a hand-me-down apartment – you know, those college apartments that have been passed on and passed on and passed on and never properly cleaned and filled with ratty, crumpled old furniture that’s been abandoned because nobody actually wants to take it with them when they go? I have three roommates – ‘JP’ and ‘Louise’ and ‘Christa’ and they are all very, very nice. And I’m the den mother. So to speak. I am certainly the oldest. It’s been a while since I’ve lived with roommates (over a decade, actually), and I think it’s probably only a matter of time until I strike out on my own. But for the time being – it’s a good place to land, to get my bearings and catch my breath.
I wish I could better articulate my NY experience, but my thoughts haven’t taken enough shape yet. Besides what I’ve already covered (and if you’ve actually read this far – god bless you) – here are some small but related tidbits: I sleep on an air-mattress that is flat by morning; my furniture has not yet arrived, but should be here by the beginning of November – god I miss my bed. It is unseasonably warm here, muggy, and the leaves have not yet turned. I’ve gotten a job and been cast in a reading, which will be performed on Sunday the 19th – not bad for a week or two in NY. Things seem to be going along rather smoothly, which only makes me suspicious (when does the other shoe fall?). And I’m scared. I will pass another birthday in a few weeks and have taken my life into my hands in a way that I’m not at all sure is practical or advised. Certainly not safe. But that’s probably my current lack of structure speaking. Right?
Again – if you’ve actually read this far, god bless you. You have far more stamina than I have. Please don’t take my reserve as a sign of disinterest – it is (oddly, I know) exactly the opposite. I crave contact. It keeps me going. It keeps me sane. And it keeps me connected. So feel free – I would love to hear from you by phone, by email, by whatever means necessary.
On my way out of town a friend told me – ‘Stay focused, stay strong.’ And I wish the same for all of you. And keep your heart – you’ll need it.