This morning, two men from Time Warner came to my apartment and installed internet, and since that moment, I have done nothing but reconnect with my lost love, the internet. Oh, how I have missed you and wasted afternoons reading every web publication I love, every one that I mildy like, reading online diaries, doing stupid google seaches, and doing all of this to the soundtrack of newly downloaded mp3s.
I did all of this today, pretty much all day long, interupted only for a quick trip to the grocery store and a shower. I did this on the day before Halloween, instead of going into the city to try to find something to wear tomorrow on Halloween. I love how people that live in the outer boroughs talk like they live in the suburbs or something, referring to Manhattan as The City. This is one of the things that amuses me a lot about the customs of this area. The only other localspeak that still sounds odd to my ears is the habit of saying "Let's get a slice," as opposed to saying "Let's get some pizza."
But yes, it will soon be Halloween, and I can think of the weather around Halloweens in Florida, can recall it fairly easily, and can also recall even more easily the weather of high school Halloweens that preceeded those college years, adolescent Halloweens, elementary school Halloweens all spent in northern Virginia, and I can recall this even easier because this weather that I am experiencing right now in New York is something I have experienced before, back in Virginia, and everytime I walk down a still wet from the rain street, and see a puddle in the gutter with fallen leaves in it, submerged under the rainwater, I am shocked, continually shocked by how beautiful fallen leaves look submerged in water, and I am perhaps more shocked because at each viewing of one of these puddle of leaves sight, a flash of recollections sprints past my consciouness quickly before receding back into my long term memorey, only to emerge again for another sprint before my eyes the next time I walk past a puddle of submerged leaves. The Smashing Pumpkins are recalled, the walk over the creek home from the busstop after school, the lonely afternoons after school, the crisp air, guilty masturbation, locked bedrooms, making food in the microwaves, dad sleeping on the green and white couch, tv always on, cold tile floor of the porch, and the lonelier days at school, the dark wood varnish on the dinner table my mom, sister, and I sat around, laconic conversations that would occasionly erupt into teenage rage, working out boundaries of space, trying to declare some, declaring some with a car, early mornings with my sister driving to school.
And everytime now, at a good healthy 22 years old, that I see some wet leaves, these memories are evoked, and I finger them gently, nostalgic and missing those moments now that time has allowed distance from them.
Back then, I had something I wanted to escape. I think that is what I miss so much in moments like those, having a good outlet to direct your rage at (sorry mom), knowing that soon, just a couple more years and you would be in college and wouldn't have to live here, there anymore. The other day at work, I was trying to describe this to Keith and Will, neither of whom cared to hear it really, both of whom have reached their threshold for tolerating my excited revelations and my happiness about boys or music, or whatever it is that provokes my fancy on any particular day. But I had just heard Stevie Nicks' "Edge of Seventeen" played over the radio in the pizza place I ate lunch in, and there's that part where she wails over and over "Run away, run away, run away." And I was way caught up in the song, back in that sixteen year old mental state where everything seemed okay as long I had the option that I could occasionlly entertain whenever things got bad enough of just running away, when that sill seemed like a plausible idea, before the effects of rationality fully sunk in when the idea is now dismissed with a I could never... I have to do this and this and pay this and this...
But the point that I was trying to make was everyting seemed simpler then because the option of escape was always possible. At eighteen you would be free and could do whatever you fucking wanted. Parents be damned. Even in college, there was the post-collegiate life to look forward to as running away, doing whatever you wanted, moving wherever you chose.
And I moved wherever I chose, I am here in New York, not doing what I wanted except seeing lots of good rock and roll and reading good books, but other than that, working a fairly crappy job, failing to make any close meaningful relationships, not falling in love with one of the many New York gay boys, and most importantly, not making art, any art. And somedays, especially now that the weather is that perfect for brooding fall weather, I think about these things, think about how much better I would like my life to be and then I get sad, sometimes terribly so, thinking about this, and how there's not really that much I can do, how now I have no place else to go, no plans of running away. I am an adult now, I say, and convince myself that I have to live my life, do something meaningful. And I am going to try. I really am. Now that I have internet, I am going to spend lots of time job hunting and sending out resumes for a job I would consider meaningful. So, I am not going to run away, I am going to fucking run towards it, tackle it, and scream like a fucking mad man. Look out world.
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