who dat? contest.
(yo stee. i know
"harry potter" co-star
first correct answer:
I never quite realized it but Mondays depress me. I almost always wind up in a bad mood. I mean, it could be the fact that I have Road Rules tonight, or the fact that my weekend is over, but I think it's just a symbolic reminder of how things aren't changing fast enough. That the things I'm waiting for to happen - some of which are totally out of my control - have again not occurred and, hey stupid, might never occur so just forget about it.
This time it may also be due to the fact that I spent some time this weekend looking back - looking over old photos and journals and letters. I do that periodically. I think we all probably do. I find it to be great, and then not so great. I end up feeling both empowered and bad-ass somehow, but also then I have that thing or event or person stuck even farther in my head. This weekend it's New York. New York in general. I fucking miss the shit out of the place. I was planning on going in October, but my rehearsal schedule is such that I have to now choose between visiting my sister and going to New York. I had been planning on doing both, but now that I can only do one, I pretty much have to pick seeing my sister. Which is fine and great, but I'm still bummed about that. It's been two years since I was back in NYC. I was supposed to go earlier this summer for M's best friend's wedding, but... well, you know.
Having spent five years in New York, and five very formative years at that, I have a wealth of feelings, thoughts, impressions, and memories from that time. It was a great time. Before things got harder. Before my dad died and before I moved to L.A. and suddenly had to make all my own decisions and pay my own bills and no semester system was dictating my life. And every once in a while, I'll get a feeling... a sense memory feeling (who knows what triggers it) and I'll be taken back to a certain time in New York. And it's invariably a good, happy feeling. I crave to recreate those feelings here. Recently they've been flooding back to me. A few examples:
I remember a time living on Waverly in the West Village. It was the winter and despite being hugely busy, I found time to walk to the gym every other day. That walk, in the cold - no cold I grew up with. The smell of the air. The air inside the gym. Where I'd stand to cool down - watching the basketball games. The feel of the lat machine bar in my hand. The look of the black rubber floor. Leaving, blasting back into the cold air. Feeling alive. Painfully alive.
Sitting in Central Park with M. I don't know why we went up that day, but we had a camera. I decorated her head and face with flowers and cigarettes and straw wrappers. Stuck Marlboro Lights up her nose (yes, most hetero smoker couples I know are the Man-Camel Lights/Woman-Marlboro Lights combo) and gum in her ear. She let me, with a quiet, amused tolerance. I took pictures of her, which I still have. There is a look on her face, despite being covered in garbage... It's a lovely, lovingly tolerant look that I miss.
La Lanterna. Dark dark cafe with a fireplace and a cat. Sitting across from a girl. Learning to like coffee at eighteen years old. Falling in love. Feeling very adult.
Riding my bike down from a job on the Upper East Side at 8pm in the summer. Dusk. Traffic not bad. Riding down with my arms above my head or out to the side. Going 30 mph and dodging buses and people, just using my thighs to steer. The work day over. The night just beginning. The future ahead.
Listening to Tool with M. in her apartment in Chelsea. Starting to cook and never finishing. Leaving the pasta water boiling for an hour.
Walking down 9th St. and meeting a friend on a wall to drink beer and talk. We talked about the constant mind-blowing discoveries we were making in acting, about growing up, about the city, about the magic all around us. We both felt it. I can picture a specific conversation we had out there. The possibilities were endless. Everything so full and dramatic and fun. Even the pain. Fun. The dorms couldn't contain the lives we were leading. We had to meet outside on the street at midnight just to talk about it all.
Oh my lord, I'm being overwhelmed by memories and impressions. I just want to go back. Smell the air (yes, even the urine-ripe subway platforms bring back memories). See the people I left back there. Make new friends. Go to old bars and see how they've changed. Walk through the park. Catch a show at Irving Plaza. Go to P.S. 122 for some theatre. Go visit old professors at NYU and at Strasberg. Break into Gramercy Park. Buy art at Washington Square Park. You can live well here in Los Angeles, and I have memories to match each of the above-mentioned ones, but there is something about your first true love, and while it was followed close behind by an actual person, the city is that for me, and will always be.
If you're there, feel lucky. Appreciate it, at least for a few minutes before you cast your eyes once again to the sidewalk and trudge off down the street, coffee in one hand, cigarette in the other, and the weight of being a New Yorker with Somewhere to Go propelling you down the streets I miss so.
When you're alone and life is making you lonely you can always go - downtown. When you've got worries, all the noise and the hurry seems to help, I know - downtown. Just listen to the music of the traffic in the city. Linger on the sidewalk where the neon signs are pretty. How can you lose? The lights are much brighter there. You can forget all your troubles, forget all your cares. So go downtown, things'll be great when you're downtown - no finer place, for sure. Downtown - everything's waiting for you. Don't hang around and let your problems surround you there are movie shows - downtown. Maybe you know some little places to go to where they never close - downtown. Just listen to the rhythm of a gentle bossa nova. You'll be dancing with him too before the night is over. Happy again. The lights are much brighter there. You can forget all your troubles, forget all your cares. So go downtown, where all the lights are bright. Downtown - waiting for you tonight. Downtown - you're gonna be all right now. And you may find somebody kind to help and understand you. Someone who is just like you and needs a gentle hand to. Guide them along. So maybe I'll see you there. We can forget all our troubles, forget all our cares. So go downtown, things'll be great when you're downtown - don't wait a minute for downtown - everything's waiting for you. Downtown, downtown, downtown, downtown... speaking of which. Hey y'all. This one time I was looking for my son - I think I was in high school at the time and my son was like seven or something, and I couldn't find him anywhere. So I gave up and decided to go downtown. Now this was a small lil' town in Texas, but downtown was still the coolest place you could go. It was. And I went to the bar and met my sister's ex-boyfriend's cousin and he bought me a drink and, well, you know. You do know. You do. And so afterwards he slowed his car down and just pushed me out, which was fine. I had learned how to roll right so you don't hurt yourself too much. And when I stopped rolling I looked up... and there was my son! Just settin' there on the side of the road, waiting. I hit him a few times for making me worry so much, and then we walked home and he made me some ravioli from the can and we had dinner. That was a nice night, y'all.
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