coney island of the mind

Welcome to the Big City.

"The true New Yorker secretly believes that anyone living anywhere else has got to be, in some sense, kidding."
-John Updike

"But it's the truth even if it didn't happen."
-Ken Kesey

"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


quotes i love
9/11 writings


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wish i didn't miss you
letter to myself
bold as love
you're excused
spring in harlem
zack & my purse
the old place
leap and the net will appear


friends, et al
big bad cat
bj's porno-crazed ramblings
like an orb*
post-nuclear art*
tequila mockingbird
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best horoscope evah
Bill's latest review

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Friday, April 25, 2003
Last night at 9:30, I was in a taxi speeding up 10th Avenue on my home from work, as I am every weeknight at 9:30. I had spent the day running around the city, arriving late for my shrink appointment, doing some business at the bank, schlepping to the drug store and the music store (new Madonna CD! and yes, I must have it), trying to get in some writing time and then heading down to work for the night. By 9:30, I was fried. Bone tired. Knowing I had to get up and work a full day today, all I could think of was home, get me home, I just want to be home.

And then some things Zack said to me the other night ran through my mind. It was the first time he'd visited my apartment.

“This place is so you. It’s you everywhere”

“Look how nested you are! It’s so cozy in here! I want to be this nested!”

"Why haven't I been here before? I'm moving in! I love it here!”

Now, this is a place I have actively hated since the day I moved in three years ago. I mean, there have been many nights of sitting on my bed in the dark looking around at my apartment and crying because only a total LOSER would be living in a place like this at 32 years old. See, at 22, this would have been a great place to live. Rent-controlled one bedroom on the top floor of a brownstone in the city - I'd have been ecstatic to have this place.

But at 32? At 32, you're really supposed to living in *slightly* more than 300 square feet. Total. For, like, the entire apartment. And at 32, people having Jerry-Springer-like arguments on the street outside your window at 2am isn't funny or cool or so very New York. It's just fucking annoying. At 32, lugging your laundry down 3 flights of stairs and around the corner every 10 days just...lord, it just sucks ass. At 32, you don't want to be tripping over books and bags and clothes all over the floor because there is simply no other place to put them all. Because, see, at 32, you've acquired some shit. At least I have. I have some shit, and I'd like to be able to spread it out over a little more than 300 square feet. Total.

So when Zack said those things to me, it made me look around at the place. Does this not look like a total dump to other people? Do they not perceive it as the rent-controlled personification of my utter failure as a person and a woman? Could it possibly be *cute*? Cute and nested? Could I be nested enough that my little apartment is the only place I want to be when I'm fried and exhausted and half asleep speeding home in a taxi after a long day of running all over the city and working? Could it be that I actually *like* this place?

Or could it be something else? Could it be that tomorrow, I'm scheduled to sign a lease on a new apartment. A brand-new, never-been-lived in, two-bedroom apartment with hardwood floors and a full kitchen in an elevator building with a laundry room and a gym. And could it be that the idea of getting exactly the place I've been dreaming of for so long is actually a little scary to me?

Yeah, see, it could be. The application process for this place has been going on since December. It's one of those affordable-housing-for-middle-income-people in Manhattan things. The place is beautiful and the rent is CHEAP. I decided to apply for a 2 bedroom (rather than just one) on a whim, in the rental office as I handed in my paperwork - "Hey, I can afford that. I could use it for an office! A writing studio! A darkroom! Why not? I'll never get this anyway!" So the two-bedroom it was. I picked out my apartment, gave them my info and scampered out, secure in the resigned knowledge that I'd never hear from them again.

But I *did* hear from them. And not only did they accept me, but they actually gave me the two bedroom. See, with these developments its almost always a rule that one person = one bedroom. Period. But I got it.

And since then, throughout all the steps I've gone through on the way to signing the lease, I've never really believed it would really happen. I've been waiting for them to change their minds, or the development to go belly-up, I've even half expected to find out it was all a big scam and that my deposit was gone forever. But none of this has happened yet. And tomorrow, I get to actually *see* the apartment, decide if I like it, and sign the lease. I can move in June 1st.

It almost seems like it might be real now. Yesterday, I even let myself buy a little rug for my new bedroom. A little mustard yellow 5x7 with a beautiful, rich red etching throughout. On sale at Urban Outfitters for $35 - how could I resist? I'm signing the lease tomorrow, right? I can let myself buy a $35 rug, right?

So what's the point of all this? The point is that last night in the taxi on the way home, I actually started to reconsider this new place. I started to think it wasn't worth all the trouble of moving, of breaking my lease early and packing everything up and moving 28 blocks north to a brand new development and where I don't know where the supermarket or the dry cleaner are, where there might also be noisy neighbors, where they could choose not to renew my lease in a year because its not rent-controlled, etc. I was sitting there talking myself out of moving out of the 300 Square Foot Nightmare and into the apartment of my dreams. I'm even doing it right now. Don't do it it's not worth it stay where you are at least you know it here you know how its fucked up don't go somewhere new where you have to learn all over again blah blah blah blah.

How fucked up is that?

Of course, I'm going. Of course I'm going to see the place tomorrow and fall in love with it, of course I'll sign the lease, of course I'll move in a month no matter what it takes - but damn, that voice of Stay Where You Are And Be Safe No Matter How Much You Hate It is awfully enticing.

But my new red and gold rug won't fit in my old place. In a month, I'll lay it down on the hardwood floors next to my dresser in my new bedroom. I'll be nested. Eventually.

I just gotta get through this in-between part.

Tuesday, April 22, 2003
another fun list from susan

Things I Hate More Than HTML Coding:

Monday, April 21, 2003
facts about this last week

-I have about 130 pictures on my hard drive that I haven't yet posted. The backlog is so huge that the very thought of it makes me huddle in a corner and suck my thumb.

-But, see, I now have a 120 gig hard drive. So it's, like, okay.

-No, that was not a typo.

-Hey, the pictures are 1 MB each! That's big, people! I need the space! I'll never have to worry about space again! And it was only 30 bucks more than the 60 gig hard drive!

-I'm a little defensive about the 120 gig thing.

-I am two-thirds of the way done with my photography website. It will be under my real name and will be open to everyone in my life. Like, everyone. Worlds colliding, people. It's frightening. Please keep this in mind if you should visit and perhaps comment. Mom will be watching. Everyone let their nicest and least perverse personality do the talking, k?

-Reading through my old notebooks and highlighting and flagging Violet passages literally put me to sleep in the middle of a crowded cafe at 3 o'clock in the afternoon. Twice.

-Reading my notebooks from right after 9/11 is surprisingly painful. There's a whole lot of stuff in there I had somehow forgotten.

-At the firehouse 2 blocks from my office, they finally took down the framed memorial that hung outside the firehouse. It was a missing poster and, later, a tribute to a father of six who died that day. It had been out there since a week after. They also took down the huge flag that has hung in our lobby since the day we came back to work - Sept 17th. Both of these absences really shook me up. Shake me up.

-I am apparently moving on or about June 1st. *knock wood*. This should come as particularly good news to those among you who have had the unfortunate experience of sleeping over at my place, and even better news to those of you who have stayed over in a, like, group. And you know who you are, you poor, traumatized, newly clautrophobic creatures, you.

-I haven't gone a day in at least two weeks without a drink. This is slightly worrisome to me.

-I'm behind on the hundred words thing. I'll catch up.

-That is all. For now.

The apparently humorless,



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