Friday, February 15, 2008

manhattan blues

I really miss New York.

Tonight I've been a little down for various reasons. One of which is the above statement. I guess it's because Tom is moving down here tomorrow. I'm glad that he's coming, obviously. More than glad. But it also means my connection with New York has closed for good.

I thought I'd cheer myself up by watching Woody Allen's "Manhattan," but it only made me feel worse. There's one part at the end where Woody Allen's character, Harold, is running past Gramarcy Park. And for one brief second I felt that I was there with him, running beside those buildings that once were my own.

It's so stupid, to care that much for a place. And it's so stereotypical, this mooning about New York. There are plenty of beautiful places in this world--one of which I'm sitting in at this very moment--but this fascination with that little piece of earth really gets at that deep place I never knew existed until now.

I have this sinking feeling that I'll never feel at home anywhere else. I hope that's not true, but I feel it anyway. I thought that this move would bring me to my "settle down" place. But now I wonder if it's possible, really. Once you've breathed that toxic air it may be impossible to become a person who settles down. All I could think while I watched "Manhattan" was: I'll come back. Someday.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

a prodigal daughter, of sorts

Much has happened since the last time I graced your computer screens. The single major thing is that I've moved back to Harrisonburg, VA, the home of my alma mater, Eastern Mennonite University. How this came to pass is both long and boring. Basically, a job I'd applied for at Rosetta Stone (a language learning software company), a year ago (and was turned down) opened again back in December. I applied again, and so here I am.

My job is a writer in the content development department. I'm in the middle of training, so I feel somewhat useless, but I suppose it'll eventually pass. I've been at the job for about three weeks, sans Tom. He's in New York until the 16th, when he (along with my brothers) will move our worldly goods from our evil studio in Harlem to our angelic two-bedroom on Shenandoah Ave. Right now I'm sort of rattling around in the house. I have a borrowed mattress, a borrowed desk, a chair and a sofa (which just arrived this afternoon, thanks to BJV's husband and two of his brothers) to fill a rather large (to me) house. I'm probably paying way too much in rent for this place, but compared to New York, it's a steal. It's less than a 10 minute walk from work and downtown (which boasts three coffee shops, a thrift store, a wine shop, a weird neo new age shop, a decent pizza joint and a pretty good restaurant), has a nice porch, a little backyard patio and (most importantly) a washer and dryer! No more hauling laundry to the basement early in the morning so we can beat the old ladies and their mountains of laundry! No more dealing with security guards who close the laundry room early! No more weird guys lurking around the basement making suggestive comments!

It was hard to say goodbye to New York--harder than expected. I found myself crying when I said goodbye to Lady L. I came close to weeping when Tom saw me off at the airport. As she left our apartment, Lady L said that if anyone really knew how hard certain decisions would be, no one would ever do anything at all. Which is probably true.

We decided to do this for many reasons: my current job sucked (as much as liked my students), Tom was feeling burnt out from dealing with users, we couldn't save any money, etc. And Harrisonburg has a lot of friends to return to. And, as my little brother pointed out, New York will always be there. Which is comforting. I watched Angels in America last night, and it made me happy (despite the sadness in the play) to see places that I loved again.

I'm getting back into the swing of things here. I have an after-work routine. The coffee shop I'm in right now has free wireless. I work with people that are as weird and misfit as I am. I don't understand why there aren't more people walking around or visiting the coffee shop (what the fuck do people do around here, anyway?), but that's a question I'll leave to the sages. Once Tom arrives things will improve. I don't like having an entire house to myself. It seems rather wasteful. If I was single, I would choose an apartment over a house any day of the week. Americans are space hogs, I've decided.