Thursday, March 19, 2009

it's just a flesh wound

for the past 5 days, I've been rocking a Sweet Black Eye. and when I capitalize, I just do so to emphasize the extremity of the black eye I am referring to. this is a shiner to end all shiners. the only way it could be worse is if I went blind, slipped into a coma, or sliced my face open and by the grace of allah, none of those happened.


how'd I manage that? how, do you ask? not by a mugging in harlem, not by defending anyone's honor, not by throwing myself in front of a semi truck to save a child. I did this by falling down the stupid fucking stairs. the stairwell leading into my studio basement is unlit and thus extremely dangerous (I recall being warned by jay about it the day I moved in), and after coming home after getting drinks with some friends in the east village, I misstepped on the last one to the bottom and bashed my head into the overhang above the doorway. I remember peeling myself off the floor, shaking it off, getting my key in the door and being madder at my clumsiness than a hornet trapped in a maraca. I don't recall any moment where I felt acute pain or even holding my hand up to my face or anything to that effect, just being inconsolably pissed and letting loose a string of expletives that would have impressed george carlin. I went to bed, and I woke up in the morning with a mysterious ache in my head, rather than just a headache. I went to the mirror to investigate and met my gaze in the reflection to see my right eye swollen half shut and turning a variety of beautiful shades of blue and purple, like a sunset of violence setting on my lid.

not a good look. especially not a good look for the job interview I had yesterday. I am not going to discount the small grace that it had de-puffed enough that my makeup skills were en pointe enough to mask my best rihanna impression. I'm still experimenting with cover up and different gradients of shimmery violet eyeshadows.

I have no doubt that having being somewhat intoxicated when this went down had something to do with it, but I've tripped on those stairs several times before when I was stone sober. I think the kicker is that I didn't think to ice it, and that's how I ended up discovering that "eggplant explosion" is not just a color one might use for the molding in a bathroom. regardless, it hasn't improved my mood at all, having to curb my instinctual facial expressions for fear of the inevitable pain shooting down the side of my face, and not being able to leave my apartment building without wearing makeup of tranny caliber.

I really do love new york, but I am not loving being unemployed in new york. I love my eye, and I want to send it a 'get well now' card. instead, all I've got is unverified webMD-esque testimonials to what works best for making the bruising go away swiftly. hot compresses, vitamin c, rest, water, and pineapple, apparently. I've force fed myself so much tropical fruit that I've got acid burns on the roof of my mouth and the previously personally condemned starchy banana is starting to look pretty good. especially with peanut butter...

moral of the story? I am a dumbass. but if I wear this look out on the town you'd better believe no one will fuck with me on the train.

Monday, March 16, 2009


new york... she's one tough bitch.

I knew that for a fact when I made the decision to join her massive army, and I stand firm on it. I'm just scrambling to get my bearings and the eye of the storm isn't in sight. the job leads seem only to lead into dead ends so far, and that's frustrating as hell but I'm not giving up. I have an interview at a sushi place on wednesday thanks to the graciousness of an old friend of sorts, and I hope that ends up panning out. after the job will come the apartment hunt for the end of my sublet from jay, and after that, I'm hitting mcsweeney's up again. my spirits are run down, today, and I really just want to go back to sleep even though my dear friend monica is in town visiting.

this is boring bullshit. I haven't been writing and I don't know why. this must be the three week hump scott referred to... it'll pass.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

a little to the left...

adjustments are being made, long sleeved thermal shirts are being bought, and everything seems to be exactly as it should for the first time in years. coming home to an empty house is bizarre, but I'm acclimating to it, however not without the first few nights alone riddled with weird nightmares of the type one might experience after drinking a bottle of tapatio before hitting the sack. I've been staying up reprehensibly late and sleeping in accordingly, which will have to end when I secure myself a job, and l've been out pounding the pavement. I don't mind being single and I don't even mind ceasing the endless search for finding a warm body to share a bed with for the time being. new york is my new significant other, and right now I don't want to share.

I've got 3 packs of polaroids coming to me from amazon and I am so excited to shoot my first brooklyn spring with them.

more is coming, I'm processing, it's a wonderful thing.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

no sleep 'til

I haven't written anything since I got here except subway directions on the backs of receipts-- and that seems very fitting, very appropriate for the speed at which everything in new york goes. the words sprawl through my mind at paces far too fast to capture all the time when I'm walking around the city, and before I get back home to my new apartment underground, safely shrouded by concrete walls from the freezing cold, they've been replaced by a barrage of sensory overloads. I'm scattered, but in a way I've dreamed of, a brand of lost that sings to my fears in lullabies and to my hopes in missives of blind faith.

the plane took off at 9:30am on the 24th and the one salty, fat tear that I shed rolled inconspicuously down my cheek to land behind my earlobe like a secret. during the five and a half hour flight, I consumed four bloody marys, one valium (in several chunks), and a bag of m&ms. upon landing I retrieved my bags and left jfk to catch a cab to brooklyn whose driver seemed not to know how to control his basic motor skills, let alone navigate the labyrinth of streets in brooklyn that are laid in a haphazard maze that appears slapped together at best. it'd be a lot easier to get around here without ending up astray from my desired route and talking to strangers (some friendlier than others, but all of them intuitively know I'm from california) if I had an iphone, but I feel like that's cheating. magellan didn't need an iphone. then again, magellan probably didn't need pepper spray or a metrocard, either.

the first two nights I was here with jay and he did his best to give me a head start on getting to know the neighborhood, and on what was to be my first night alone I went out to savala's in on bedford to see an old bartender fracquaintance who always greets me with warmth, a one liner, and a shot. every bar in this city has got considerable competition because of this guy; I'm considering starting a petition to get him a raise. the bar wasn't too crowded, it was an oldies night with a svelte lady dj whose boyfriend was keeping a very watchful eye on the creepy geezer that kept returning to her booth to "make requests". I struck up a conversation with the boy nearest to me at the bar who was engaged in a game of dice, and he had no interest in chatting about anything other than giving me some hard to follow, drunk directions on how to play the game.

"I may just spectate," I said, "my luck is shot."

"don't be silly, this has nothing to do with luck." he grabbed my hands and closed them over the dice, and even gave me a little shake to boot.

"so it's strategy?"

"not really." he replied. I furrowed my eyebrows.

"karma?" I asked, lifting a finger from my clasped hands to blow inside for luck. I'd seen this in gambling movies.

"someone else has to blow on them."

"you've got a gift for educating," I said, knowing he wasn't listening but rather intently anticipating my next roll, so I did. I had no idea what I was supposed to do, so I waited for reactions to prompt my next move. luckily my roll deferred to the next competitor, so I excused myself to the other end of the bar to try my luck over there. I struck up conversations with a few more friendly faces and decided that I ought to go home early (1:30 being the case, since every bar here stays open 'til four) and got lost on my way back to the subway station. upon asking a young man passing by for directions, he obliged willingly and as I turned to go in the opposite direction, offered to buy me a drink. this good samaritan, a good looking 2nd generation polish chap ended up later directing me to his bed after what I remember as a blur to be not a terrible amount of persuasion. I'd have ridden on a gargoyle into the bowels of hell if someone promised me a box of spicy cheez its and someone to spoon me would be waiting on the other side.

in the morning I woke up with a start and found myself staring at a swirling brown water stain on the ceiling, and every immediate following moment brought a new revelation. a, I was not at home. b, someone was sleeping behind me with an arm slung around my waist. and most importantly, c, that my cable knit sweater tights were still on. (three cheers for hosiery, the chastity belt of our time.) my fidgeting woke up my new friend, ironically enough sharing a namesake with my ex, and I asked him where we were, and he replied, "bushwick."

what the fuck is a bushwick? I thought. I sat up and started hastily putting on my clothes and brooklyn jon tried to convince me to stay, declaring unwarranted sweet nothings at a volume such things should delivered with an ear nibble to a receptive party, and not to a girl who is running for your door with one pant leg on. I noted the lord of the rings fan memorabilia and comic books littered throughout the room and couldn't help but chuckle to myself. I got picked by up a tolkien geek trying to find my subway stop. (oh, if only orlando could see me now.)

the following afternoon I spent feathering my nest back on the homestead and pounding pint glass after pint glass of tap water that I am suspect might eventually kill me faster than the booze will after watching some terrible "truth is out there" youtube someone sent me about brooklyn being a giant toxic waste dump. chris came by to check out my new apartment and we sat on my couch filing through old photographs and tickling each other's brains. after a dinner at bonita with the talented mr. kreuger that was mostly comprised of tequila and salsa (both delicious) we hopped a car back to chris' waterfront loft and stayed up late talking of the puzzle pieces that molded us into the hot messes destined for greatness that we are. I can't retrace every step that led me to the precipice from which I just leapt, but the freefall I'm in is exhilarating, and rewarded every time I catch a glimpse of the city skyline. that night I stayed up hours after him just staring at it over the hudson, watching the high rises jockeying for position.

after a week and a half, I've found that I now never leave home without mace, a flask of whiskey, gloves, maps, and my ipod. riding on the subway is still giving me miniature heart attacks from time to time, even if I study my impending route with the conviction of a princeton scholar at crunch time, I worry that I'll somehow end up in harlem at 3am wearing a "Mug Me" sandwich board. (if neuroses were like pokemon, I've undoubtedly caught them all.) also, for a rather klutzy gal, I've picked up the kill-or-be-killed attitude that you must have on the train to survive. even me, someone who has trouble standing still without tripping, has developed a startling matrix-esque ability to dodge obstacles hurtling towards you in the form of people that are moving either entirely too fast or maddeningly slow. getting out of union square station during rush hour, I become The One; my shoulders shift and weave out of the way in a fluid motion that would make a greased weasel jealous. I am a cog in the new york city wheel. I even have a bruise on my thigh from the turnstile bar.