la Ketch

my life story

Friday, June 20, 2008

an Ode

I’ve lived in New York for over 8 years now. I never intended to stay this long. "Five years," I said when I moved here but it’s difficult to leave a place. The older you get the more difficult it becomes. You have more to carry.

I came here alone in March of 2000 with two suitcases and $900 in my pocket. I’m leaving with a husband, a dog, a baby, a bedroom set, a dinette set, wedding china, a 401K….you get the picture. I’ve accumulated. I’ve gained mass. And yet the trip back to the West Coast seems greased. It’s so much easier. Coming to New York was like swimming up stream. Moving to Los Angeles is like doing the backstroke. Of course I’m much more organized than I was then and also I have more money but also I think that the door for me is open a bit wider going in that direction.

The first time I ever came to New York I was a sophomore in college and it was a religious experience for me. I had to live here. These were my people. I loved the speed and the energy and the dirt and the rats. I loved the history and the challenge. I remember being here in the first weeks after I finally did move here, to the East Village where I was sleeping in the living room of a teenie apartment with my college roommate’s coked up ex-boyfriend who wore florescent mesh tank tops and ate nothing but pink protein shakes that he made in a blender and tuna fish right out of the can. He would leave the empty cans all over the apartment. This was my environment and yet I remember thinking to myself, “This is a real life. This is the place where life becomes real.” Which isn’t true at all but I can see why I felt that way, especially then. I was under the impression that the only place that things really happened was New York. The rest of the world was just reflecting light off Manhattan.

And now…. Oh god. How can I find the words to describe to you how over this place I am? I still love it. I do. I’ll never stop loving New York but I am so motherfucking ready to leave.

Every morning for the past 7 years I have taken the 7 train to work. The 7 train goes above ground in Queens and there is an amazing view of the Manhattan skyline before it descends down into the tunnel which comes out at Grand Central Station. When the weather is clear and the sky line is striking, I always try to soak it in. I enjoy being able to see the city before I enter it and the view coming home is even better because the sun is setting behind the sky line and it’s sometimes spectacular. I get a little drive by of it that lasts for about 30 seconds. I try not to take it for granted. I always think that I should take a photo but I’m glad that I never have tried. There’s no lense that can capture that. All of those bridges at once. The light reflecting off everything. I will keep it with me always. It’s so beautiful.

When I’m counting down to something I have a tendency to count the days by counting the things that I do regularly, especially when I ride the subway. “The next time I walk up these steps I’ll be married.” “The next time I go through this turnstile I will have a baby.” “I will ride this train 11 more times before I move to California.” It’s strange to me that this picture I have every day will be gone and be replaced by the 405 freeway.

It’s all relief though. A huge relief washes over me. I know part of it is just the escape, the change, the romanticized view of the grass on the other side but I think a lot of it too is just that I’m supposed to be going now. I’ve been here long enough.

I came here at 25. The city gave me my first live in boyfriend, my fiancé, my wedding, my dog, my baby boy. It’s given me a career that I can make a living on. It’s given me confidence and maturity. It has also given me bad skin and a drinking problem.

New York I love you. Never change. God bye and Good luck and I will try and remember you as I saw you on the 7 train, from a distance and reflecting so much light.


At 11:19 PM, Blogger christine murray said...

Not one mention of your triumphant reign of the dog run, y’all be missed by the little dog and me. So glad I could be your loyal compatriot and seize the helm when you moved to the baby community.

There is nothing like a dream to create the future (Victor Hugo) I am so happy for you.

Let’s hope I will have a new job before you leave so I can share new stories of successes and adventure.

At 2:24 PM, Blogger Eve said...

Fantastic post.


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