This post is coming to you from Texas turf, regrettably. It’s heart-wrenching to think that only about a week ago I was still back in Brooklyn in our little cubbie closet of a room with insane asylum-esque white walls, concentration camp mattresses, a lone bulb dangling from the ceiling, a demon shower with an (evil) mind of its own, and a stench that can only be described as a continuous mix of marijuana and dead people.
Just last week, I was riding the R train to Brooklyn Heights, getting coffee at Clark Street, making small talk with the EHS security guards, and finally taking a taxi to my doom (home). Now that I’m here, I feel like a huge part of me is missing. I feel very unsettled and defeated and frustrated and downright bored as hell. Compared to the city, life here is the flavor of the blandest vanilla. And not Bluebell or even Dryers. It’s the red-headed-step-child of brands, the ones pushed off to the back of the grocery store freezers with the faded generic labels, like the HEB brand ice cream or the cartons with smiley faces and disturbing cartoon children with chocolate mustaches printed on the front. (I know my ice cream, obviously, and sadly.)
I miss the eccentricity that comprised my days for the last four months. I miss dashing to catch a subway (which, in my case, is never the right one, yet I still board it despite the clearly printed GIGANTIC bolded signs that scream it will be traveling in the complete opposite direction of my final destination).
Commuting is a cultural experience in NYC; an art, if you will. You never know what you will be faced with stepping out the door of your dorm, but you’re absolutely guaranteed either a ridiculous conversation with a complete stranger, an earful of a bizarre yet beautiful foreign language, a sighting of a picturesque landscape or building, a profusion of inspiration in the form of quirky, creative city dwellers and their eclectic style, or, if you’ve been living right, a run-in with a Crazy (precious moments in the form of crazy-haired, googly-eyed “artists” named Peter who draw you on the subway and address the finished “portrait” to “Tracey” because that’s what you told him your name was (true story)).
I miss being able to be exactly who I was, and nothing else, simply because that’s all that was expected of me. I miss not knowing what was in store at the start of a beautiful morning in Brooklyn, but quickly realizing that anything I did that day would be exponentially cooler than anything I could possibly be doing anywhere else. Even a rainy day was grounds for a smile and a skip in my step, just because I was so unreservedly happy with this unprompted, refreshingly stimulating life I was currently leading.
But tonight I feel like a caged animal, nervously pacing around a house smack dab in the center of Suburbia, USA.
So, at the risk of sounding stale and trite, and like every other confused college co-ed who has just made the bittersweet trek across that stage and been suddenly thrust out into obscure oblivion– what am I supposed to do now?
Here are a few last remnants of some of the more interesting nights in the city: