Walking out of work, just having listened to wonderful stories about
an older new york, just having had peals of laughter peel out of my
mouth, I walk east towards Chinatown. It is Friday and the strains of
dream-rock guitar echo in my ears and it is light out and I am
standing on a street corner looking at a park looking at street
skateboarders, impromptu basketball games, high-school goths,
All the while, I am missing something. I have this taste in my mouth
as if I am missing something, some crucial piece of knowledge. Instead
of figuring this out I will shake my head and get my cans of massaman
curry, coconut milk, packages of tamarind, then will make my way
uptown to take the train downtown, in a daze.
Eventually I will make my way home having forgotten that I had forgotten something, having-forgotten-forgetting, and all I will have is an aftertaste of car exhaust and restaurant kitchen-range smoke on these streets that takes me elsewhere. Puts me there, thinking about here. Here here here here here here here here here here here here here here here here.
And now it is Later, and I come home and go for a bike ride and a jog and a bike ride, and at one point I take off my earphones, and there is nothing but the sound of crickets and cicadas, and the air is cool, and between the trees you can see the yellow windows of apartment buildings everywhere. On the way to Prospect Park I pass rows of restaurants with tables outside, people talking and silverware clinking against plates, and suddenly: heart pulls, aches, strains. On my way home I bike and I swerve and these streets are so familiar, and I get home, and I park, walk inside.
I turn on something by carsick cars, as loud as I can. No-one's home but Casper, but she yowls and smiles and she rubs herself against my legs and I sit down and she comes and presses her head against my hand, says hi. Hi, Casper. And I'm sitting there, Casper pressing against the side of my back, slowly nudging her head in circles against my hand, and I'm looking at the lamp upstairs and the way it illuminates the tree next to it, and I hear the strains of an emphatic guitar and an enthusiastic voice come up from downstairs, and I realize it's been a year since I moved in here,
and all of a sudden I miss Brooklyn, I miss having my own time, I miss not being ragged with projects. I miss feeling the time pass through my fingers and being okay with it. I want to not have to go to work after work. I want to have at least, at least, two hours of my own time, for myself, every day. I want to go to a show after work, once a week, maybe, where a friend's playing, and smile and dance and sway with a drink in my hand and afterwards wander outside on dark streets and look up at dim stars and smile with friends and laugh without a care, right at that moment, without feeling guilty about work. I would like to throw my bike on the grass and fling myself on my back, arms outstretched, and close my eyes and not have to think about anything for an hour, half an hour, two precious minutes.