Seeking Sobriety in Brooklyn (NYTimes.com)
Oh, Staten Island… sooo sad in its existence as New York’s literal dumpster. Really, all of metropolitan New York dumps their garbage on Staten Island.
Atleast you had this… if only for a second.
“I thought John’s new obsession with ice cream was odd.”
The following was written on 20 April 2009. Forced to take the bus to many disparate locations all around Los Angeles, I found myself a writer of sorts… again [for the shortest of seconds and all].
“Somehow it is peaceful… No one in the bus (except this person that, at last, I decided was a woman that got on the stop after me)… Like, for the most part, this bus was for me. Quiet, too. Then the people start slowly trickling on. I don’t feel drowned, though. The old woman in front of me smells like something very reminiscent that I cannot place my finger on. Pleasant but hauntingly reminiscent.
And I look up and she’s gone.
You see, if the past is any indication of the future, this may just be the calm before a flailing and defeatest storm. I must say that I feel different today… But after a while, people begin to learn things that they’d rather not learn and
therefore be ways that they’d rather not be. Guarded, you know? …so that the fall out doesn’t leave one as it has every other day… An open wound… Bleeding… Raw… Even before the bandaid can stick to the slick transparent
salmon pink surface that was once covered with its protective sheath… Commonly referred to as skin.
So, really, there is nothing to think. Beyond the logistics of it all… That I’ve taken care of as throughly as can be taken care of at this point… And I kind of like the surrender to the anonymous bus ride. You know, so that nothing specific can be in my brain and I can sort of just be for a second.
Its strange though, I can write these fleeting thoughts down… I do posses paper and pen and all. But I decide to use the notepad feature here. Probably a very small part of the blackberry using community use this feaure at all…
Don’t really know in what capacity to do so. I mean, I’m not even sure.
But I guess this works for me for now.
Its crazy, the bus has taken me to a part of town in which I don’t even really know where I am. Oh, I guess this is sort of Silverlake… Hipster city. Willamsburg, Brooklyn’s west coast counter part. East coast hipsters, I’d imagine, are more high strung.
Which is weird… I mean, maybe I’m the exception that proves the relative rule, but though I cannot say that I’ve never felt a desperation in NY, its only since I’ve been in CA that I’ve ever achieved a level of ‘high strung anxiety’ that I thought, due to my chemical makeup, very very unlikely to impossible for me.
But again, maybe that’s just me. And the time and place in which I exist. Too many drugs, not enough time/desire to cultivate my coping mechanisms for a ‘real world’ situation/crisis.
Like I’ve been left back 8 grades in the coping mechanism grammar school of life. I think its more instinctual… A bit, atleast, than learned. So, I’m confident that as much as I can catch up, it won’t take as long as it may seem.
On the loooong line outside of the traffic court. Scared. Trying to keep my cool. Not like an acid trip… I brought the Edie book for a reason… I guess I’ll read it now.
Step #1: Hill Street; no curveball… Yet.
The home stretch baby. I hope….
I’ve come to appreciate hitch hiking culture with these long, wide streets and this heat and the impermiable still… Quiet… Save for a the few cars that periodically pass by. No doubt this town is a city… Strangely clean and widely
deserted however, I cannot think of it as anything but, The Stand somehow.
There’s a peace though… The peace that quiets the buzzing in my head. I mean, for a second… If all this extra external buzzing wasn’t already going on in my head and all.
Just that second of relative certainty I felt leaving the DMV this last time. Basking for a second underneath the bench looking down the long quiet road. And genuinely smiling for the first time in weeks. Though not ear-to-ear…
Ear-to-ear never again really… Unfortunately always cautiously so.”
And so it went… it was 105 degrees out that day… I ran around, flailingly, with a version of desperation that just might have just reminded me a bit of New York. I never really did feel the heat… but they tell me that it was hot out.
Public transportation in New York is a… not given… not anything… it’s just how you do it.
One takes the A, C, E, the 1 and 9, the F… I don’t know. One dreads the L at every moment that they are forced to take the L.
fuckin’ grey shit.
… because the L is only ever taken by force. The borough of Manhattan is only 2 miles across. Walk that shit. One finds themselves on the L or more likely, waiting for the L. It’s never a conscious decision.
Unless one lives in hipster Brooklyn… in which case… well, enough said. You don’t live in New York… you live in gentrified Brooklyn… The ‘hip’ can’t actually be ‘cool’.
Plus, many of these aforementioned gentrified Brooklynites own cars.
Cars? In metropolitan New York?
Ha… fuck you.
But I digress.
after 10, 11pm … just like…
…night passed night. Yeah, you know, THAT time; 4am in the morning, for example. I don’t know when the frequency actually stops. When the urgency of people cease to matter. And the people must adjust their urgency to the frequency… or lack-there-of, of the trains.
One better like the wooden bench-chairs… the emptiness… and the clack-click…woosh of all the distant trains that aren’t theirs [one’s]. They better like that.
Oh and the cold… I always forget about the frigid freeze.
Because they’re gonna be there a while. And a while passed that while. They better be pretty fucked up. And wake to the noise of the train roaring into their station at last.
My car is dead… sort of. Monetarily; for the foreseeable future. On the IV drip that is mechanical life support. I believe it is on the accelerator donor list.
and… I, now, live in Southern California.
And as NY is to subways; CA is to cars.
But fuck that.
I don’t need the car.
I just need a really cool mix to listen to as the bus takes me where ever.
That’s another thing, what the fuck is a mix cd? Ha.