August 18, 2005

2,102,400 Minutes

I'm a rearview mirror person. Always have been.
I am obsessively prone to navel gazing and tallying up what has happened or what I've accomplished in the time spanning between landmark events and anniversaries. My old journal is filled with such self-indulgent bullshit. One year since I graduated. A year since my grandfather died. A year since my breakup. New Years. Birthdays. Holidays.
So it came as quite a shock to me to realize that today is my 4 year anniversary in New York, and I hadn't given it even a second thought.
4 years is not a lot of time. It's college. It's law school plus a year. It's 2x a Hollywood marriage. It's just over half the run of the entire series of Buffy. It's roughly 2 Oscar broadcasts.
But it's a long time too.
I'd write a long drawn out comparison of who I was and what the world was like compared to who I am and the current state of affairs, but I'm really trying to curb the habit. Every week it seems there's some milestone that warrants personal nostalgia.
I'm like VH1 without Michael Ian Black.
They say if you've lived in New York for 10 years, you can really call yourself a New Yorker.
I say if you've ever lived on Popcorn and Soda bought at Blockbuster with a giftcard you got for Christmas because you can't afford food, you're a New Yorker.
I say if you've ever walked home at 9 A.M. and passed people on their way to church when you're just sobering up, you're a New Yorker.
I say if your friends live less than a mile away but it's too much of a hassle to visit them, you're a New Yorker.
I say if you climb the walls because the city bleeds you dry and makes you nuts and as soon as you leave it you think that maybe you'd be happier away from it, because you realize that it's impossible to afford a decent life or meet anyone or sustain a relationship with in the confines of Manhattan, and it becomes painfully clear that a six figure salary makes you middle class in Manhattan, and the rent on your shitty one bedroom is
roughly equal to the mortgage on a small mansion with a full staff and dune buggies to drive from room to room, but eventually you need to get that pulse back in your system as soon as possible, to walk the avenues and hear the noise and perform the slam dance that is New York etiquette that only we understand, and to be overcharged for cookies in a deli at 3 a.m. because dammit, where else in the world are there 7 delis within a block of your house where you can even get cookies at 3 a.m., and to walk home, and to know the guy working the door, and to go to a party on someone's roof, and to drink till 4, and to turn up your nose at Jersey and outer burroughs, and to hate tourists, and to avoid certain parts of town not because they're rough, but because they're tacky, and to order in, and to choose between the good-bad Chinese place and the bad-bad Chinese place, and to cross against the light, you fucking NEED IT, because you know the City is like an abusive boyfriend, and though it beats the shit out of you, you love it anyways and always hold onto the foolish belief that things will eventually change and you'll live happily ever after, then, and only then, are you a New Yorker.
4 years.

Still here.


Blogger A* said...

*stands up and applauds*

10:30 AM  
Blogger deanne said...

The Bad Boyfriend analogy; I feel the same way about London sometimes.

5:35 PM  
Blogger MilesDavis said...

A great posting! You have articulated and redefined "New Yorker" in a way that I'll alway's remember! - Thanx!

12:39 PM  

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