Before the twin towers came down I came here with daddy, bright eyed and eager and fresh from the flushes of a crush of sorts and I fell head over heels in love with the city. Then it was with friends, some of new jersey and enough of New York. After that I came with my best friend which came with it’s own share of drama as we met with a ‘prospective groom’ for her. A near certain jerk, no arguments there. And then it was with my husband. God I enjoy me some good jazz. Anyhow we drove from CT then and it was the best time in our early marriage. We stayed at the W and did some shopping. Then it was to pick up a cousin and visit with her. Lastly it was with hubby again. We were trying veganism and hit evey vegan spot in town while also aimlessly exploring grenwich village and the whole experience was amazing. This one’s the seventh time and this time I’m alone and for pleasure or peace perhaps would describe it more aptly. People leave the city to get a reprieve but it’s different with me. I think better here. Or at least I used to.
I love this city and yet I’m finding it hard to think of doing anything else besides shopping. The feeling that this may never come again drives up the prices to fetch me the unforgettable. I do it to fill some void deep inside. Unfortunately all it does is make for a hefty bill to deal with later. And yet hubby indulged me this time. In fact he more than indulged me, he urged me to spend to my hearts content, to live it up and not think of a thing. Maybe he figured I would realize my folly, my immaturity, the dreams I make elusive. But no, his intentions were more than noble. And yes it made me realize a lot of things. For one, I already knew money does not buy happiness nor the best things even. It was the act of hoarding, the incessant gluttony of doing something you are not supposed to, numbing all reason, avoiding facing all reason. That was the problem. Some people eat, some abuse themselves with drugs, some steal, some cheat and though I did a fair bit of eating it seemed of late for me it was this need to spend. But, I couldn’t spend even with all the free rein. It helped me reconnect with myself.
I realized what I love about new York. I could probably find some of it back home. I love the energy, the diversity. I love people watching and the many stories they tell and I want to tell them as I watch them. Their unabashedness helps me be the same as I write these tales. I love the central park, the pretty brownstones, the endless cafes, the conversations with the taxi drivers, the stark differences in wealth and how everyone lives together just the same. This reminds me of home and ugly or not home is home. The rich, the poor, they all have style and the music, the food, the comedy, movies, theater, the zest for life never ceases to amaze me. I can smell it with the contempt, the apathy, but it’s there always fighting, struggling to survive against all odds. This is America at it’s best and worst – where you can do anything. And here you truly can. I love the skyscrapers, the lights at night, the acceptance. Yes the acceptance. In front of me here in the dusky hotel lounge is a group of 10 or more young mostly American Indian group celebrating a birthday of one very gay fellow desi. He greeted most all his friends with a kiss on the lips. Where else I ask you?
And maybe I can find them in my pretty little town. I know I can find most of the things but what sets it apart is my inhibitions. New York let’s me be and more. And after so many years away even New York had some trouble undressing me of mine. To be fair I’ve only been here 2 days and yet here I am all alone in the midst of an impending hurricane and after forging near friendships with the taxi driver (he offered to drop me to the airport at 4 a.m and shared his 6 mth old son’s tales), the skilled taiwaneese hair stylist Steven, the friendly jersey shore native Karen and the polish masseuse Agnes enjoying fantastic jazz in this fantastically gay lobby, no pun intended, sipping my ‘dark and stormy’ again, no pun intended. I think it’s done the trick, I’ll have to push harder or drink more, whatever rids me of my inhibitions and prevents me from living my life. The haircuts though are the best here but hey all of this has got me to start writing again. That counts for something, does it not?