Today we wake up at 3pm, feeling better than expected. Dinners of macaroni and cheese followed by breakfasts of lo carb multigrain french toast and egg white scrambles. Our house is blasting bad pop music, mostly from my computer. It’s nice all being together again. We paint our nails and sing at the top of our lungs in underwear and for the first time in a long time, I feel like what it was when I was a teenager, when we all knew we were growing up but we could still act like children together.
I sit on the kitchen floor in bra and underwear in front of the refrigerator door wide open, eating the fresh blueberries I bought instead of the old ones, which are still good by the way. I really should buy an AC today. I am a little embarrassed of myself, a little proud all at the same time. In my gut I know that I’ve done something wrong. The pathetic half-filled bass of the ice cream trucks tunnels through my apartment and, feels like the devil punishing my hangover. God I would kill for a strawberry popsicle right now. How weird would it be to google “popsicle delivery”? Maybe I shouldn’t have had that last whiskey. Maybe I knew exactly what I was getting into. Maybe I should put some clothes on before my roommate gets home? Maybe I should take a long nap. I feel bad for waking up and not remembering immediately where I was. Wondering if I can keep a secret. Wondering about penis size and the new Tame Impala album and if I can lose 5 lbs by my birthday. Did the mail come today? I am waiting for some checks.
I don’t remember how long it takes to boil potatoes. I don’t remember falling asleep last night. I don’t remember what it would be like to love someone. Whatever happened to what’s his name? From last week? From last month? From last year? I really couldn’t tell you. But this song still reminds me of him.
“In the depths of winter, I finally learned that there was in me an invincible summer.” - Albert Camus
I have been in New York for seven months now. If I group all of the time I have spent here over the past decade it would maybe add up to about 2 1/2 years… but the past seven months have been something else. You see, I have had the most epic long distance relationship with the East Coast; always feeling so flawless when we’re together and so easy to romanticize about when we’re apart. Now that we have decided to be together New York, all of your ugly habits are starting to show.
And so are mine.
I’ve watched the seasons change like it’s some kind of ICP miracle outside of my windows and sometimes still wake up disoriented thinking that there is snow on the ground again already until I put my contacts in. You have to understand, that people from California are oblivious to these kinds of changes. We take everything for granted back home. Our cars, our Mexican food, and our high minimum wages. This year, I learned how to appreciate Spring. There are no words for when the leaves start to show and cherry blossoms polka dot the skyline.
The windows, now strained open till they’re about to burst let all of the summer heat and street noise in. We cannot afford an AC yet. The Puerto Rican boys play basketball and helicopters take over the sky. Spanish hip hop at dusk from parked cars with doors left wide open. Everything is blaring from 90 degree heat. Ice cream trucks circle the blocks with their song till midnight and carts wheel Tweety bird popsicles and Italian ices with cast metal bells clanging. We’re afraid the cat might die of heat exhaustion. She hides under my bed.
Every day, another job. Another random phone call. The strange things I have done for money at least seem to impress my parents. Our hot water gets turned off. Our electricity, and then our gas. How were we supposed to know that the gas and electric aren’t on the same bill? Fights with companies and the landlord. Everything is working again. I don’t know how long this will last.
My roommate and I have learned how to survive off of 99 cent stores. I eat more canned food than someone would store in a bomb shelter. I wear blue lipstick sometimes and am always surprised when boys talk to me anyway. I now say “Thank you” when I get complimented on the street. I still never give away change.
I stopped taking the train. I sweat across the bridge, my feet blistering trolling through Brooklyn. I really need some new shoes.
Every day, wondering if I still have it in me. If I’ve made the right choice.
Everyday, small victories. Small failures. It’s all about perspective. I have learned to take what I can get, and always fight for more. If there’s one thing that has kept me coming back to New York for all these years, it’s that this place teaches you how to grow.
Every day, another dark bar with beautiful people. More numbers in my phone. I wonder how many strangers my neighbors have seen me make out with at 4am on my stoop. I am not even looking for these things but it just all…. happens. I’ve finally learned how to keep my distance. I am getting good at this. Learning that, it’s ok to give up on people sometimes.
Every day, I realize more and more why this is home. And not once have I thought about turning back.