Friday, December 26, 2008

My favorite four-lettered word is not "L-O-V-E"


Fuck is a good word, a solid word. A word that covers most all parts of speech--noun, verb, adjective. I've been using this word a lot lately--at least in my head if not out loud--New York is finally beginning to seep into my skin as I find myself stomping rapidly down the sidewalk, weaving my way in and out of the crowd thinking, "fucking tourists!"

I don't quite understand why certain phrases using "fuck" developed. But I sometimes find myself, almost gleefully, spouting them off in tandem, particularly "what the fuck". For example, what the fuck was I fucking thinking moving to New York 22, jobless and with a boy who has a history of leaving? Equally good, although perhaps less applicable in all situations, are "how the fuck?" and "why the fuck?" Phrases such as these are exceptionally effective when used in quick succession: Why the fuck did I think New York would ever be a good idea? How the fuck did I plan to survive without a job or a backup plan? I must have hit my head hard and suffered some brain trauma, that is the only possible way to explain what the fuck I was thinking! See? It's good, right?

And of course, there is the ubiquitous "fuck you". Shout it right now as loud as you possibly can! Doesn't that feel good? Although, now my coworkers are looking at me like I may have officially lost my mind. So now to each of them, "Fuck you, you and you!" Fuck you is really fun when the person you are screaming it at doesn't expect it--you get to watch the range of emotions flitter across their face--at first doe-eyed and incredulous, then crestfallen, then livid. Try it on a perfect stranger on your way home from work tonight. It's fun, you'll see. Congratulations, you have just effectively ruined someones day! Its a glorious feeling isn't it?

To those assholes in the subway that are obviously newly in love and canoodling on the seat in a way that verges almost on pornographic, I scream, "Fuck you!" To that bitch down at the end of the bar that is talking loudly to no one in particular about the boy that she is pretty sure will ask her out any day now, "Fuck you!" To that prick on the subway every morning that leers at me like he's seen me naked before, "Fuck you!" I dare you to approach me, I dare you to ask me out, you will see what happens--you will become what the Italians like to refer to as a castrato.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008


I'm sitting on the hardwood floor in my new bedroom. It's small--too small for the amount of stuff I've accumulated in the years I have been living on my own. I'm mostly unpacked. There are some things still in boxes that I have finally decided I can live without--things that he pushed hard for me to get rid of before we moved here, things that I fought hard to keep. Ironic that now that he's gone, I am willing to part with them, at least they will only be at my mother's house, waiting for me to collect them when I am ready.

He...he will be back in Atlanta. My home. The South, where I spent the better part of my adolescence planning my escape; Georgia, where I came of age during the cool humidity of a summer's night; Atlanta, where, at age 20, I finally felt at home for the first time in my life. Yet, it is the one place I feel I can't consider.

So, here I am...not wanting to stay, unable to leave. Fleeting thoughts of rainy Seattle cloud my mind (it's as far away as I can get without leaving the continental US). But instead I find myself in the northernmost neighborhood of Brooklyn, sitting on the tiny sliver of floor that separates my bed from my dresser from my bookshelf. I realize this place will never feel like home. It will always occupy that transitory space that is post-him and pre-who-knows. And I know all I can do is wait for that moment when I find somewhere that I can again call "home".

Monday, December 1, 2008


First blog in months. The last one was the aptly oh-so prophetic, "Can I Count the Ways". Ha.

I'm not even going to begin to explain where those past few months have disappeared to. Perhaps in not doing so, all is explained already, through the layers of assumptions forming as you read this.

Friday, our sick, twisted little experiment in love and domesticity will lay ruined at my feet--characterized by piles of records, books and clothes waiting to be neatly stacked into moving boxes. I will, no doubt, have to climb the last set of the stairs to the roof regularly to be able to catch my breath. This apartment is crushing me.

Lately, this place that I knew instantly was meant to be home has filled with a thick fog of despair, resulting in the disarray of an otherwise tidy existence. Dishes go unwashed. Animal hair piles up in the corners and under furniture, every now and then becoming a tumbleweed moving slowly across the floor in the draft. I can only stay here as long as I can keep my mind distracted. As soon as my hands become idle, I feel myself slipping deeper into the fog. I need to focus.

My volume has two settings: numb and searing. I alternate between the two without repose. Violent images of breaking things, tearing down these walls that constrain me, flash through my head, only to be met with an indifferent yet reproachful chuckle coming from my subconscious at my absurdity. It's different this time.

Last time, two years and some loose change ago, it felt like someone took a bag of sand and flung it into my chest as hard as they could. I was left breathless, lifeless. A piece of me was removed forcefully and violently while I tried to recover from the initial hit. I groped in the dark, trying to reclaim what was rightfully mine, but it was already gone. The hurt did not go away despite the vast attempts I made to make it disappear or at least dull. I didn't breathe for months.

Until one day, laying in a green field under an ancient oak tree, a light Autumn breeze ruffling the leaves, when he came back and with him, my breath. The ache slowly subsided, till it became a distant memory--rehashed only in nightmares that left me lying awake, damp with perspiration.

I believe I always knew it wouldn't last. I believe that I kidded myself for two years after that sunny day in the park. I believe I was aware that love would really never be enough. That I would never be enough. But I pretended. And I was happy.

He gave me hints all along. A few short weeks before we moved here, he already talked about moving elsewhere--San Francisco, Germany. He talked about going to school in faraway places. Places I would not be able to follow.

Still, the hints never prepared me for actually hearing him say it. And when he did, it was like someone had again taken my breath away with the heavy velocity of a flying sandbag. My world, my seemingly perfect little world that I labored to build, crumbled under the weight of his words. I tried to salvage what I could, but realized I was grasping at straws and finally let go.

The ache, this time, dull and dilute, nagging at me every time I let my brain wander. It reminds me of what I always knew, especially when he pulls me near at night, especially then, when I am more alone than ever before.

So I don't let my mind wander. And as moving day draws near, I find I don't even have the time to let it travel down the paths it chooses. I'm leaving Pleasant Avenue, my little block with trees, church bells, school children and nuns. I'm leaving Harlem, where you can hear the city's heart beat in the dark of night. I'm leaving Manhattan, that famed island that I, and many others, have held on a pedestal for so long, only to be disappointed.