Thursday, April 4, 2013

I'll tell you mine if you tell me yours




A lot of great minds and still in love, guilty or without resentment, with the city argued that New York is for a certain people: rich, regardless of business, beautiful, regardless of gender, and young, plus those that think they are young but are, looking at the botox treatments and dyed hair, not. Not judging; in my later days I hope I'll feel as young as when I was 22, thinking that this age is so amazing that it can only happen to me. And as young as I feel now, though aware of treadmill being less inclined and calling the anti-age spots creams preventive measures is not fully accurate. Not judging because this city is an utopia. None of my friends here buy dishes, comfortable armchairs and a real dinning tables, or sewing machines (ok, nobody buys sewing machines unless they wear their own label), perhaps because deep down inside, hidden in our nightmares, we all assume that we must grow old at some point and move. Assume, for this city shamelessly gives its inhabitants the feeling they will always have time, that time sometimes even goes back, it doesn’t move with the rapidity of 24h/day, it is stuck between today and tomorrow; because NYC, let's face it, is not real. Grow old, then, in just one (terrible) day, most likely, without a traceable transition, and as soon as it is acknowledged by us or others we will be exiled at the outskirts (if we get lucky) or, even worse, outside altogether, as the preconditions for being here are no longer met (if you don't get rich, of course). We'll be allowed within Manhattan's borders only for Macys parades and visits at the Metropolitan (appolagize for messing up the order) and we will be called tourists. (Have you noticed that all former NY-ers are asked why did they leave the city, but nobody from Boston gets the opportunity to answer this question?) Or in Dallas or Kentucky, or all these other places which nobody knows if they are cities or states. Do you wanna move upstate? No, I am still young. House in New Jersey? No, I am still young. Bigger space? Who needs it? I can live in a box if it is on this Island. Fine, for a supper hot artist with a ridiculous rooftop view I can compromise on Brooklyn.

What does this mean – do we need to be in the city to feel young, or because we are here we are (feeling) young? I know my reasons: outside the city they don’t have french soap and expensive groceries shops with all unnecessary goodies for 15 dollars a tenth of a pound (1kg = 2,2 pounds for the non-American billions), being it supper organic grass-fed cow feta or approximately 11 grapes (not clusters); no benches with millionaires names written on them; and no unicorns. What about sleep? If I start sleeping I might enjoy it and spend full 8 hours with my eyes closed, not hearing the traffic or my neighbor talking on the phone at 4am, after screaming in my apartment to lower down his decibels still hearing his wipers through the onion thin walls: "so when you are coming? Oh, common, I have plenty of space…!" He was a liar. And why would she take so much convincing anyway? This is New York, one should come here uninvited. 

Sleeping is one of those luxuries we can do without, like the closet space, shelves and interior arches, and drapery chandeliers or even normal ones, anything except for those ceiling pies (have no idea what they are called) which don't occupy vertical space. I feel good living around people uninteresting in sharing opinions about  the canned food on the 5th isle, though we are all familiar with the taste, but they are schooled in anti-hangover remedies, sharp on how to get into museums without paying, and dexterous with chopsticks – we call these the survival kit.

Ruminating over options, we dodder to the kitchen for a glass of wine, finish half of the bottle, and this is normal. Do that outside the city and you are taken for a depressed, desperate, or alcoholic. Here, procrastination is contemplative, thus enriched with intellectual value; outside is unavoidable boredom.

If we are afraid of anything it is of that day where we have to move out, a desire of need coming from within like a disgusting creature, like in the Alien movie, and we know that we will be lost, unable to create new memories, for that will mean replacing the ones in the city. And we will be unprepared: if we put sneakers on, we automatically start running, we know how to drive only on roads with yellow obstacles; we know that milk comes from the coffee beans called latte which grow into Starbucks shops and it is naturally foamy; we will name the walk-in closet the kids bedroom, and we will have trouble finding the rationale, so the utility, of having the second sink in the kitchen.