Sunday, May 10, 2009

Year One.

I made it. That first year in New York City is officially behind me. One year, two boroughs, two apartments (as of June 1st it will be three). This time last year, I was following behind a big yellow Penske truck in my Ford Explorer, with my cat all drugged up in the back seat and my boyfriend flipping through New York songs on the ipod. I got goosebumps as we crossed over the George Washington Bridge and when we pulled up to our little apartment on 116th Street and Pleasant Avenue, I knew I was home.

Things, of course, changed. I finally found a job (which I have full intention of leaving ASAP),the boyfriend became the ex, I moved to Brooklyn, my oh-so-positive outlook on the world became a little jaded, and then overtime a bit more positive again, I spent my first Christmas ever away from my family, I failed at most every plan I had made, I succeeded at things I never even knew I wanted. I think, perhaps, it was the quintessential first year for a twenty-something in New York.

I think it may be time to move on from this blog. I started it a year ago to chronicle my misadventures in becoming a New Yorker and my new role as a domestic goddess. At times it read like a Park Slope blog (and if you have ever been there you would know exactly what I mean). Overtime, I found my voice as I lost myself in the topsy-turvey universe of a prolonged break-up. I shared my loneliness and anguish on it when I was adjusting to those first few weeks of living in Brooklyn, while the snow piled up outside and the cold cut me through to my bones. I expressed my frustrations, my darkest moment, my fears. And with the support I received from the people that read my posts, I realized that maybe I could make my love of writing into something more.

I feel like I am such a different person now than I was back then. That first night sleeping on the futon with a cool breeze creeping its way through the window and pigeons cooing in their sleep on the roost, I knew I was so ready to begin my life with this person, to start a family, to settle down. Honestly, had he decided to stay with me, I probably would still be in that place. But he left and gave me the opportunity to realize a different reality for myself. I am 23. I am young, smart, pretty (perhaps a little vain), and I live in NYC. The world is at my fingertips. Why wouldn't I take advantage of this moment in my life?

Now, as summer approaches again and my vitamin D levels return to normal, I am finding less reason to use this blog as an outlet. It helped me get through the longest winter of my life. But I am ready to move on. It is time.

I survived year-one. I had some really good times, some really shitty times, I made a few great friends, I saw the Pacific Ocean, I laughed a lot, I cried even more, I stumbled home drunk. I lived. What more could I ask for?

To be evermore cheesy, I'm going to close my last post in a quote. In the words of Matt Berninger from The National: "Now there's no leaving New York."

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Better late than never.

I always have the best of intentions. On the other hand, I am a self-proclaimed procrastinator. I will admit it--I am too lazy, too distracted, too scared, too awkward, too [insert other excuse here] to do most of the things that I really intend to do, for better or for worse.

That being said, this post was meant to be my Easter special. (I even put it on a jump drive and carried it across the country with me. See? Intentions.) I was too thoroughly distracted by nature and new friends to take the time (all three seconds of it) to copy and paste this from its Word document into my blog. Oh well, better late than never. So Happy Late Easter and all that jazz.

Finding God in a Smudged Mirror

The auditorium heaved with bodies in motion—swaying to the music that reverberated off the walls, pulsing with the rhythmic chant emanating from the chest of the man that stood at the center of it all.

Her hands were raised, palms up, elbows perpendicular to the stained red carpet. As she swayed, her body collided with others, moving to the beat that guided them.

A seventeen year-old boy with cropped blond hair, zits and freckles grabbed her right hand with his left and laid his right palm on her forehead.

“Hummanah nah nah, groudy hagh gah ress ka la.” The meaning of these words were unclear to anyone that heard them, but the intention was obvious. Tears rolled out of her eyelids, darkening her otherwise pale cheeks with black, soot-like mascara.

“Oh yes, God. I hear You, Lord. I open the eyes of my heart.” With that her knees began to wobble and she bobbed up and down, fighting the urge to fall. Another man came to her and placed one hand on the crown of her head and another at the small of her back.

“Creday dumu lolo crea. Gloor belave foregod Jeremiah.” Another set of hands found her head and her right shoulder. Her body went rigid as her hands dropped to her sides, palms facing forward. The chanting gained intensity.

“Doublay doo karmakarm goddar creday dumu lolo hummanah!” She felt the blood leaving her head and rushing to her extremities and then back again. Her body tingled and she shuddered violently.

“Rah sah sah goor, rah sah sah groudy hagh!” Her eyes rolled into her head as another hand touched her diaphragm.

“Gray may Yahweh juisay gloor belave!” Fireworks exploded in her ears as her body quivered and fell. The eight hands lowered her to the ground slowly, where she lay panting.

Years later she would experience this feeling repeatedly as her various lovers licked her cunt till she came. “Oh god, oh my god,” she would cry out as her hand pushed against the headboard and her body writhed with pleasure.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009


When I was 18 I escaped to Europe under the cover of night. I landed in rainy London at eight in the morning without a friend, a plan, or a direction to walk in. I spent my backpacking time perpetually lost and in doing so, found what I had been looking for all along: myself.

I've spent the past few months lost, confused and without direction. I got bogged down in the mire that is New York City. I spent Monday through Friday at a job I hate. I spent my evenings drinking whiskey-gingers in a constant rotation of bars where I have come to recognize the regulars by face and name. I spent my weekends hiding in my bedroom from the life I should be living, but haven't had the resolve to obtain.

Getting the hell out of New York last week reminded me that there are other options out there. I may not be starting law school in the fall, but rather than wallowing (which is what I have been doing, woe-is-me), I should be looking for way to spend this next year being productive and happy. I think the first step towards this is finding a new job, whether that job is in NYC, Boston, Seattle or anywhere else in the world that I can be gainfully employed and contented. I think that is enough of a goal to tackle for now. I know that if I set too many goals for myself I am going to get overwhelmed and give up. Baby steps, right?

Friday, March 20, 2009

New endeavors

It's been nearly a month since last time I wrote here. I apologize to the few (3, 4?) readers that I have! I've started working on a new project, and when I'm not sleeping, at work, or drunk (well, sometimes when I'm drunk) it is the only thing I work on. I figure, if law school is out, I might as well try my hand at one of the many secret aspirations I have.

That being said, below is a short snippet of what I have been working on. It is rough and very first-drafty, so please disregard any nonsensical sentences.

Chapter 4

He kissed the ridge of my collarbone, the part that made me inherently asymmetrical. I let sleep take me under.

My feet stuck straight out, off the edge of the gray leather bench seat in the back of my mom’s 1978 Buick LeSabre. I was wearing pink sparkle Jelly sandals—the type that inevitably give your toes huge blisters even if worn for only a few moments while playing—and a yellow sundress with an attached apron that was embroidered with flowers and bunnies.

Maynard was sitting next to me on the bench, wearing navy blue shorts with a starched red and blue plaid shirt tucked into them. My mother had put us into our Sunday best. It was hot, and our chubby legs stuck to the seat.

We watched buses pull into the depot and unload passengers and cargo. Every time a new one put on its signal to turn in from the two-lane highway mom would start smoothing her dress and examining her lipstick in the rear view mirror.

“Sit up straight, Peggy, your father should be here soon. Maynard, stop fidgeting.”

“Mama,” I implored, “I’m thirsty.”

“Mama, I’m hungry,” Maynard chimed in.

“You two better stop complaining or I’ll tell your father when he gets in,” she snapped fiercely at us. “We will eat and drink when he gets here. You two are such messy children, you’ll spill all over yourselves and daddy will take one look at the likes of you and will turn around and leave again.”

The minutes ticked by and the sun passed overhead. I watched the shadows it made out of the gas pumps and pretended they were monsters coming to kidnap Maynard and me away to some enchanted world where we would be hailed as royalty.

The sun sank below the pinewoods on the west side of the freeway. The shadows stretched out across the pavement and slowly crept across the car, enveloping us in darkness.

“Any moment now! Your father will be here any moment!” Mom’s voice was becoming panicked. Her shrill reassurances were far from comforting.

She got out of the car and lit a cigarette. Her lightweight cotton dress blew in the breeze and outlined her small frame. An attendant stepped out of the small convenience store that doubled as a waiting room and started pulling the steel shutters on the outsides of the windows shut. Mom dropped her cigarette on the pavement and toed it out.

“Now you two stay here, I’m going to go ask that man when the next bus is supposed to come in.” She reached in the open window of the Buick and grabbed the keys out of the ignition.

As we peered over the front seat we could see her gesticulating wildly at the stooped elderly black man. He kept shrugging, looking sincerely apologetic and utterly exasperated at this tiny woman with hugely teased hair. I desperately wanted to go grab her by the hand and bring her back to the car, but the child locks were on.

An eternity passed as she turned from the man and walked back to where we were frozen. I could hear Maynard’s heart beat quick and arrhythmic. His jaw was set tight. Mom climbed into the car and placed both hands on the steering wheel. She hunched over and began to shake.

“Mama, when is daddy going to get here? I am…” Maynard grabbed my arm to quiet me.

She turned the key in the ignition and the Buick rumbled to life. “He’s not coming, baby. He’ll come tomorrow. He’s not coming today. We’re going home. He’s not coming.” She kept repeating “he’s not coming” as she pulled out of the bus depot and onto the interstate.

“But why, mama?” I began to cry. I was still standing on the floor of the car, watching her.

“He loves me! He. Loves. Me!” She shrieked the words, both a promise and an accusation. The red hand of speedometer increased to 60. I was thrown back into my seat with the inertia. Maynard slid over to me and buckled my seatbelt.

Mom was now sobbing. Trees flashed by too fast for my eyes to focus on. “He loves me! He’s not coming! He loves me!”

“Peggy look at me,” Maynard was gripping my hand across the seat. “It will be okay, he will come home.” Tears streamed down my face and my chest heaved.

“He’s not coming!”

And then it happened: she veered to the right. We flung forward against our seatbelts, my hand still wrapped tightly in Maynard’s. Glass shattered and metal groaned under the impact.

A snap. A sharp pain. I screamed.

That was her first attempt.

When I awoke, my bed was stained with sex from the night before and sweat from and my nightmare. I instinctively reached up to my collarbone and ran my fingers along the knob where it had long ago been broken.

Aloysius was gone—I never kicked him out like the others, but he never stayed.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

These things are true.

I know it would be easy to return to Atlanta. I would slide back into the South without a hiccup, my friends would welcome me home, my job would rehire me, my old bartenders would pour me drinks for free as if I never left. I know this.

I know I would wake up every morning, yawning and stretching and it would smell like sunshine. Even when it rains, Georgia smells like sunshine. My cat would try to trip me on my way to the coffee pot and he would sit patiently outside the bathroom while I shower and then drip dry as I brush my teeth. I would make idle conversation with my roommate in the kitchen about the day's plans, the latest Atlanta gossip, maybe we would agree to meet for a drink after work or plan to make dinner and watch bad television in our pajamas.

I know I would drive to work, even though I could walk, and if it were New York I would walk; thirty blocks isn't so far. I would sit at my desk and listen to the hushed conversations of my coworkers. I would take lunch outside under the white billowy Bradford pears and swat at flies as they try to feast on my peanut butter sandwich and my browning skin.

And on the weekends, I would wake up and go to brunch with whoever was awake to join me. I would sip on cup after cup of coffee with cream, no sugar and eat runny eggs and cheesy grits. In the afternoon, if the weather was nice, I would go to one of my favorite bars with the large sunny patio and drink beer and laugh and work on crossword puzzles or my latest craft project till the sun began to set.




I would be home, and it would be as if the last year was simply a dream that fades to a distant memory with the rising sun.