Friday, January 3, 2014

Island Living

My 3 week vacation in Georgia (and then Mexico) is so closeI can almost feel those equatorial UV-B rays frying me into looking like a realArmenian. That flight back to queso dip, my dog Bo and the hugely underratedDollar Menu is only 7 days away, and, well, just when I’d reached the end of myrope, I stumbled into the perfect final week here in New York City. Turns out theperfect final week is actually spent in Staten Island.

It occurred to me a few weeks ago that if I’m on a beach inCancun for the month of May, hooked up to a Tequila I.V. and reading plays, I’mhardly earning the rent money I need for June 1st. This was a problem since renthere in the city is, you know, RIDICULOUS. I decided to flex those survivalskill muscles and post a description of my place on Craigslist, so that someoneelse can pay my rent this May.

In only a few hours I had about 18long, sincere, desperate email replies. I picked one girl to schedule a viewingwith that night. Bernadette was Australian. A full-time architect and part-timemodel, with her dream job, long blonde hair and an accent. She loved the place.I loved the fact that she had cash. In fact, she’s in my room this very moment,probably going out with Inanna tonight, on a double date with Gagillionaireplayboys at some secret underground members-only steakhouse. 

I, in the meantime, am in the Wagner College library. Idon’t think it’s changed since 1968. It makes me feel like I’m shooting a film ordreaming. The signage (“Class of 1959 Learning Commons”), the leather chairs,even the surprisingly high number of kids in dog tags just add to the eerinessof how far-removed it seems. It’s somehow jarring to sit in such a smallcommunity of studious college-aged kids in hoodies and messy buns after beingin the city for 4 months. It’s like I keep expecting a train to come throughthe wall inception-style. It’s just too quiet!

The commute here from work was a ferry over the river, withthe sun hitting my legs and the sound of seagulls and bells. That was therapeuticalready, before the rolling hills of Silver Lake Park. All the green and thequaint New-England restaurants and shops near the campus seriously restoreth mysoul. I wouldn’t live out here and I probably wouldn’t visit if I didn’t have areason. Right now, however, it’s perfect. It feels like going home.

I’m crashing here with Caroline, one of the other interns,until I leave NY next Wednesday. The commute is a bit much (bus to ship totrain) but it’s worth it a million times over. Not just that this is trainingfor when we move in together, but because I’m so intensely nota home-body, that a little exploration is doing me a great deal of good. Giveme a suitcase and put me somewhere I’ve never been before, and you’ve neverseen me happier. I could even be in Staten Island.

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