aww, fuck this.
i drove back from upstate NY on saturday and then made my way to the subway to get back to my apartment. i had a big bag on my back and another on my shoulder and the sweat was pooling on my lower back. this has been the norm this summer. a lot of sweat. a lot of times i felt like i was taking a shower on the subway platform.
the train was delayed but then it was there and all of us clamored to get on. i stepped into the subway car in front of me and felt my heart drop.
no air conditioning.
you could see all of us trying to decide how much we cared. another woman and i spotted empty seats and just sat down. at least i have a seat, i thought.
two stops later, a man walked on and as soon as he felt the air-conditioner-less car, he rolled his eyes and grumbled loudly, "aww, fuck this." he then walked through my car and into the next.
as the subway began moving again, i smiled to myself and for reasons that both make sense to me and don't, i thought, god, i love this city.
today is my new york anniversary. as i've said before, it is a little dumb, i think, for me to think about this anniversary in part because i was born in new york and raised just outside the city. but i was away from ages 14 to 28 so it seems appropriate to celebrate my coming back home. my homecoming, i guess.
at the very least, it gives me an opportunity to stop and look around and see all that has happened these last two years. i think about the version of myself who moved here two years ago. i think about what she thought it would be like, what would happen. i think about how she thought she was on a path toward being more settled.
and in a way she was because in a way i am now. but she, i, just didn't realize how many bumps and twists and turns would be involved first. and yet, here i am, looking at the same view i've been looking at for two years and here is the same dog that was utterly confused that day two years ago and proceeded to not drink water for days and here is the same city, my home and birthplace, staring back at me, surrounding me.
today i note that the bed frame is different. as is the mattress. and the curtains. and the living room has a wall of books now. the shower head is so much better than what i had before and there is more wine here than i know what to do with. as i write this, my best friend is sleeping on the couch. and tonight i have a reading of a play, something that feels normal now but two years ago felt only like a pipe dream. and later, a man who i've met and fallen in love with in this city and who loves new york more than i do will be back from a vacation.
and hopefully, somewhere along the line today, there will be another "aww, fuck this" moment. there will be another moment that makes me laugh and roll my eyes and wonder why we all don't just move to the mountains. there will be another moment when i ask myself if this is really where i think i'll live, if this is really my home home, if this is where the roots get placed.
and i guess, that's the thing about this city. the roots have already been placed (um, duh, my family is here...). they just keep getting stronger. even when i think i couldn't possibly stand in the subway station another august day. even when i think about changing the subway car i'm in. even when i wonder if i'll be able to afford it. even when i wonder if being close enough to your parents that they sometimes call and say look down and wave as they drive home is too close (...don't call me about this line, mom!). even when i wonder if i'd be happier someplace where i could see more stars.
its okay because we'll live here forever, my boyfriend has said recently.
the longer i am here, the more true that feels.
happy two years, nyc.