"The true New Yorker secretly believes that anyone living anywhere else has got to be, in some sense, kidding."
"But it's the truth even if it didn't happen."
"I want to be thoroughly used up when I die, for the harder I work the more I live. I rejoice in life for its own sake. Life is no brief candle to me. It is a sort of splendid torch which I have got hold of for the moment, and I want to make it burn as brightly as possible before handing it on to future generations."
-George Bernard Shaw
Cause right now my brain is so frozen I can't think of one damn reason.
Temperature outside? Weather boy currently says 18 degrees.
Temperature inside my apartment? Roughly the same.
I. Have. No. Heat.
Not since 10 o'clock last night. It's so cold in here I have a headache. It's so cold I'm afraid to move from inside my electric blanket coccoon. It's so cold I'm afraid to go outside and find out it's just as cold outside as it is in here. I fear that will break me :(
They're working on the boiler downstairs and assure me that it will be up and running by tonight. Even if it starts working NOW I'm not convinced my two teensy wittle radiators will re-heat this place sufficiently in time for me to sleep.
I'm moving in a couple months, right? I'll be a great new place by April, RIGHT??
Look what they just started selling in the little store in the lobby of my office building...
Do you have any idea how many YEARS I have been waiting for them to put the Double Stuf Oreos into a little snack pack?? DO YOU? And now they finally do it, and its just after I've joined the gym? Is this some kind of test?
If it is, I've failed miserably...
Oh, and at my local supermarket...
Yeah, let's not even TALK about those.
Sigh. It's 40 days and 40 nights in the desert for me, people.
In an effort to break out of the writing funk I've been in since school let out, I hauled my ass over to the Hungarian Pastry Shop on Sunday night to force myself to get something down on paper. It is absolutely impossible for me to write at home (hopefully this will change when I move and use one of my two bedrooms as a writing studio! yee haw!), so I do most of my writing at cafes or bookstores. I've been to literally hundreds (hmmm...okay, maybe not hundreds, but, like, ALOT) of cafes all over the city and while I have my favorites (Cafe Rafaella, Cafe Reggio, The Sugar Water Cafe and the sadly defunct but never forgotten Limbo), the Hungarian Pastry Shop is, bar NONE, my favorite New York City cafe. It's just exactly the kind of place you'd think you'd find here and no where else. It's just across the street from the Cathedral of St John the Divine on the Columbia campus at 111th and Amsterdam. No food, just all kinds of coffee and pastries. When you get hot chocolate, they bring you the whipped cream in its own little silver cup. It's quiet and most people are alone, studying from big Columbia-sized textbooks, writing in notebooks, reading novels. The ones who are in groups talk softly and emphatically about Cool Things. A cat prowls around quietly hoping someone will give him the remnants of their whipped cream cup (which I totally did).
So I ended up writing a bunch of shit - nothing good whatsoever, but I did get stuff down. In lieu of sharing any of that drivel, I'll give ya some pictures :)
I predict that some night this week you will dream of a secret garden. From a distance, you'll spy it below you as you're walking alone in a hilly wilderness. As you approach, you'll be filled with dazzled thoughts like, "Wow! That's exactly how I'd create a secret garden if I ever had the chance! It's got everything I love!" When you finally arrive at the gate to the garden, you'll find it bears a sign with your name on it, and when you slip your hand in your pocket you'll find a golden key that fits the gate's lock perfectly. As you stride in, you'll realize this is in fact your very own secret garden: You created it long ago, but forgot about it until now.
1. I should write on the blog more often. Leahanne writes every day. Anne writes every day. Dargie writes every day. It looks fun to write everyday. Then I could tell you all the cool little minutiae of my life and you wouldn't be all, "She hasn't written in a week and she comes back with some shit about the new scones at Dunkin' Donuts??" You'd be all, "Yeeeeeeeeah, we know Susan, we love Susan, we want to know all about Susan's scone." So I'm all about writing more often.
2. I haven't written very much at all since school let out in December. Burnt out? Busy with the holidays? Just lazy? Yes. Thank you.
3. Doesn't look like I'll be going to school for the spring semester. Turns out I owe some ancient debt to my undergrad school that I've been blissfully unaware of for the last 6 years, and until it is paid my current school is holding my fellowship money. Consequently, I technically owe money for this past semester since I didn't get my tuition remission and I don't want to get into further "debt" by taking a class in the spring that I will get remission for god-only-knows-when. Besides, the English department (and I'm using the term loosely) isn't really offering anything good. There's only one fiction writing class and it's being taught by the guy I had last spring. Same shit, different year and it wasn't all that. I was thinking of doing an independent study in queer literature just so I could read a bunch of cool novels and get credit for it, but the professor who was going to mentor it sent me an email about what we would be doing and it contained the word "pedagogy". I have a rule in life about staying as far away from any document containing the word "pedagogy" or any person who might utter the word "pedagogy", and here we have violations on both counts. I just wanted to, like, read and shit, and maybe write a nice little paper at the end of the term. I didn't sign up for any use of the word "pedagogy". I'm out.
4. Instead, I think I'll work on The Marshall Plan workbook that Rikki got for me last year. I know she has one, too, so I'll rope her into doing it with me. You all can hold me to it. You must. If I'm not going to school then I need to substitute some other kind of structure for writing this stupid thing.
5. It seems I got the 2-bedroom, dirt-cheap apartment I applied for a couple of months ago. Yes, 2 bedrooms. In Manhattan. Hardwood floors. Elevator. Brand new building. With a laundry room. The fucking place isn't even done being built yet. I should be moving in the spring. You might be saying to yourself right about now, "Self? She doesn't seem too excited about this. Whassup wit dat." Right you are. I will get excited when I am sipping a drink from my red martini glass with my fat ass sitting on my leopard print sofa in my fabulous new apartment. Until then, I am practicing moderation of excitement. It just seems too good to be true right now. Although Jesus fucking Christ, if you've ever seen the place where I live now, you know my apartment karma is way overdue for showing me some love. We shall see.
6. Today I walked into a gym. It was the first time I'd ever walked into a gym in my life. Like, ever.
A very nice gym opened in Harlem a year or so ago and I've been nursing a really strong yet secret desire to check it out ever since. I've been patiently waiting for this urge to go away and be replaced by something familiar, like a Krispy Kreme donut, but the fucking thing has been sticking around. The idea of going to a NYC gym has always horrified me because - well, there are, like, a lot of reeeeeeeeally beautiful and perfect people here. And they go to the gym not to get rid of love handles but to bounce quarters off each other's asses. I just could not fathom taking my quarter-sqwooshing-ass into one of those places and working myself up into a big, red, smelly, soaking sweat in front of Giselle Bundchen and James King. But see, this place is in Harlem. There aren't a lot of supermodels living in Harlem. Like, hardly any! Mostly we have a lot of regular people with regular bodies, some better than others, but nothing like what you see in the rest of the city. But still, I put it off and put it off because going to the gym is just so...well, it's so unlike me. It's just not something that I do. But that voice kept saying, "You wanna go, you wanna go, it could be fun, you'll feel better, you'll look FABULOUS" over and over and over for so long...I just gave in. I want to look fabulous. I want to feel beautiful before menopause. I want to, you know, be all I can be and shit. And mostly, I want to be able to buy clothes at Urban Outfitters and Bang Bang and the Candies Outlet Store in Somewhereville, New Jersey. So fuck it. I went in. I felt sick walking there. They're all gonna look at me, I thought. They're all gonna know I don't belong here. Looking at my fat ass will make them feel better about theirs. But I made a deal with God, my shrink and Rikki and goddamn if I was gonna be embarrassed in front of all three of them.
Rick the Guy Salesguy was nice. I told him most of the above and he told me he was glad I came, that he was proud of me. And not in a condescending way. He showed me around. Nice, big, clean facility. Lots of machines. Spotless locker room. PRIVATE SHOWER STALLS WITH CURTAINS (that was a deal breaker). And in this gym, there were people working out- and they had stomachs. And thighs. There was even a guy on the treadmill who was bigger than me! It was bright and sunny and the window in front of the treadmills looked out over Harlem and I thought, I can come here. I don't hate it. It sorta feels good. I might even, like, look forward to coming! Just a half hour a few times a week to start is what Rick suggested. A half hour to myself, to make my body feel better, to make my whole self feel better, to *look* better. I really want to do this. There's a whole part of me that's dying to do it and has been for a long time.
I told Rick I'd sleep on it. On my way to the subway, I went to get a coffee at Dunkin Donuts. As I stood in line, the line I've stood in so many times for so many cups of coffee and more than a few donuts, I thought, I don't feel as good in here and I did in there. The part of me that was upstairs in the gym talking to Rick and walking around the floor looking at machines was so much stronger than the Dunkin Donuts part. It was like I had just been in FAO Schwartz with a little kid. "YES! I LOVE IT HERE! This is so cooooooooooooool!! Can we come back? Huh? Huh? Can we? Pleeeeeeeeeeease????" I thought maybe I'd just decided to release a part of me that's been dying to get out forever. And to think how much time I've wasted in Dunkin Donuts when maybe I really wanted to be somewhere else...
So tomorrow I'm going back to give Rick my money and join.
And after that, just gotta get myself to actually, like go...
Anyway, more entries soon. I wanna be better blogger :)