claiming the land.

i hated new york this week.

hated the long subway rides. the assault of smells. the brush-bys by men who should not be. that. close.  

hated that i've taken to hiding in the stairwell when i see that one particular neighbor waiting for the elevator. (26 brings maturity, don't let anyone tell you different). 

hated that the guy at the corner store knows me. has for near two years now. hated that he knows when i'm eating well. and when i'm not. hated how his hand always brushes against mine when he hands me the change. no matter how i place my hand--inviting the dropping of the coins, he brushes up against it.  and since i have this theory (or strong-held-personal belief) that all intimacy begins and ends in the hands i find this action invasive, intrusive. 

and yet. he knows me. let's me cut the line when i'm just getting my chocolate covered pretzel. i hand him the dollar and he gives me a wink and a smile. he knows my name. always offers kindness, even when i don't deserve it. 

but this week. oh this week. 

this week i was lonely. 

seems to me as i cycle through emotions some, at certain times, are harder to admit than others. and why is that? sometimes i can't admit sadness. i'll claim everything else, but don't ask me to reveal the underside of that cloak that falls heavy on the shoulders.

this week loneliness sat heavy and oppressive on my chest. this week loneliness curled up under the two highest rib bones, wrapped itself there and clung.

and i considered writing about it. but upon the realization that somebody might actually read these words--oh god, people actually see this?--i evaded, ducked and missed the words all together, which was the first real mistake i made.

it's been harder to write, lately. as though it costs more. takes something from me. a wise friend suggested it's because my life has more value now--or i value it more, so yes, writing from this place is quite literally (metaphysically) more expensive. a side effect of getting better i did not anticipate and certainly do not welcome.


i thought about giving it all up this week. my lease ends in six months. i could sell my furniture. or put it in storage. take three weeks to travel around europe (because it's been suggested to me that three months would not be financially sound) and then move to seattle. or portland. and no i've never been to either of those places but i've  just this sense that i was meant for the pacific northwest. for the gray skies and massive pines and the water. for a pace of life that differs and bends.

i think i would thrive there. i have not reason to think this, no basis for this thought, other than it seems many a good musician is there now and some damn, fine writers as well, so maybe there's something in that water? and maybe that something would do me some good.

if i'm going to be lonely, might as well really be.

might as well go to a place where no one can ask me if i'm acting--if i'll ever, because no one will know me as such, as an actor, as a person who used to act. i hardly know myself as such. no one will know me at all. blank slate. fresh page. page turn.

and just as i'm having all these thoughts, just after having gotten off the train, and having passed quickly through the corner store, i look down at the bottle of sparkling water in one hand and the yam in the other. and the lack of bag, this quick purchase on the way home--it seems so very new york to me. and i love it. and i love new york for it. and just as soon as that thought passes, i pass the local restaurant and wave at my good friend from college who's perched at the end of the bar. and there is a love for that moment.

i'm trying, god help me, i'm trying to feel it all: the dislike and discomfort. the loneliness and wanderlust. the snippets of love i feel for this corner, this home. the in between-ness of this time in my life. because i know it will pass. i know this time, too, is sacred and important. i am changing now, becoming the grown-up version of myself. but oh, how the pushes and pulls make me sick to my stomach.

but again there comes that call--that push: remember this. remember this.

that's the great comfort: all things pass. sadness and loneliness. seasons of our life and slivers of time. and happiness too. and it cycles back only to move on again.

so, okay, before i rid my apartment of all my things, before i take off for europe, i'll enjoy this--this latter  half of october, when, heaven help me, i'll feel loneliness, really feel it. i'll live with it and study it and know it. i'll stake claim to it, plant flags in it, delineate territories and identify tributaries. and make it mine.

if only for a time, if only for a time...