Last night, I was sad until I went on to the top of a roof, a large roof out in Bushwick and talked to lots of cute homosexuals, and marveled at the lack of a skyline, at how beautiful the sky looked orange, foggy and backlit by all the light pollution in New York. It was a marvelous sight which was the backdrop to last night, to conversations with fun people I intend to spend more time with, to a forty ounce of Budweiser being drunk, and to more than a few cigarettes being smoked.
But up until this party, I was sad. And the reason, the reasons are petty, are nothing new. And the sadness was provoked my someone else's good news. Joanna, one of my managers, told me that she was going to be quitting the Strand to try to go to college. I am over the Strand, have been for a while, and all of these people that have been there since I have been there are all leaving or have already left. Joanna was just the straw that broke the camel's back. I thought about how much I don't want to work there any longer, how I need to find a new job, how daunting that would be, and how unsuccesful I may be in my attempts to get a new job. I make absolutely nothing. I am often bored there. I am not striving to be successful. I would be happy doing many things. I was happy at the Strand for a long time, but things run out of steam, and I need to hop around, to do other things. There is a lyric in a Bob Seger song that I never paid attention to until a couple months ago. It was just one of those moments where the lyrics of a song will conincide with the current problems in your life. The lyric was advice someone gave him, advice I liked the sound of also: "The trick you said, was never play the game too long."
I don't know if that means anything to you, but at the moment that meant about the world to me, it was why I feared staying there too long all summed up in a nice little song lyric, about even staying here in New York, about stasis and progression, and which side I was going to take in the battle. When I think about my time at the Strand, that I have spent a year and some months there, and how there is no visible end on the approaching horizion beside the desired one, then I start to get really sad and lose hope, want to move away.
Today, this crisis was reignited when I found out that Matt, my crush and my fave employee, no longer worked there, had got a job doing silk screening. I almost wanted to leave work and go home and cry, to curl up and pity myself. This bout of sadness also was halted by the company of a homosexual. I went to Union Square and was smoking a cigarette on a bench and this boy sat at the bench across from me and I did not even really notice him. I got up from the bench to go sit in my favorite spot, at the top of the tiny park across from Circuit City. I like to sit at the top of that park, outside of it, on the fence, behind the potted plants. There I can watch the traffic from both sides of the traffic island, merge into one street. I really like watching this and no one else ever sits there except for the occasional homeless person. I had my headphones on, listening to "Triumph of a Heart" on repeat, watching the traffic visuals, and I saw this same cute boy walking toward me. I was sure he wanted a cigarette or a light and saw that he had both, so I was a little confused why he was there and thought he might just be walking across the street. He sort of stood near me. I lifted my headphones to hear him, and he asked if I wanted to talk.
I put my headphones around my neck and talked to him. It was an awkward conversation, partly because he is from Turkey and doesn't speak English perfectly, and probably more so, because he wanted sex, and thought I did also. I told him I was just on my break from work. When I was getting ready to head back to work, he asked me when I got off. I told him ten thirty (it was then probably nine) and he sounded excited, but I told him I was going to go to a bar after work. He said he didn't really like bars and then during our awkward good-bye, he sort of apologized and sort of insulted me by saying, "Sorry. If I knew you were at work, I wouldn't have talked to you." I don't know whether to take that as positive that some cute boy wanted to have annonymous sex with me, or to read it the other way, that I look like a slutty fag who would get with just about anyone. Either way, the encounter made me full of adrenaline and I totally forgot about how much I hate my job. Will males, will human bodies, and the possibilty, even the remote one of sex, always have this ability to make me forget about everything else in the world; to fill me with an erotic joy which numbs me to everything? And is this for the better or the worse, that sex, boys, penises, and even the slightest chance of contact with them can make me forget about everything else in the world? What was I saying about the Strand?