I am feeling New York in a way that I haven't in a long while. I am preparing for winter's end, starting to come out of this self-imposed hibernation, a hibernation brought on my discomfort in cold weather, my reluctance to try to assemble decent looking outfits amid layers and layers, my desire instead to get stoned on my couch and watch movies and British tv shows and cuddle with this cute thing, Jacob, who is at my house every evening. But I am climbing out of that exile, embracing the cold now that I know there are not too many more weeks of it, that we are in the waning phase of winter.
There are all these things happening. There always are in this city. It's just a matter of knowing about them, creating them, or someone telling you about them, someone putting you on someone's list that you may or may not know, but whom you will certainly make it sound like you know when you say really confidently to the doorperson that you are on Geordon's list. And so Friday night, I skipped a long line of people in the cold and went and saw this singer that, for reasons I am not entirely sure of, I adore, Little Boots. Jacob was doing a photoshoot and hanging out with his friends and I was on my own for a night and it felt real nice to lose my mind and float from conversation to the open bar, to conversation, to the dance floor to dance whatever song I really liked that just came on, to conversation, to push my way through the crowd to get close to Little Boots and hear her sing "New In Town," accompanying herself on the keyboard. I was a bit stoned and certainly a bit caffeinated and quite a bit drunk and feeling real, real in love with the ways of this city and how, given a little craftiness, one can have so much fun for free in this town.
Diego knows the Bana people and so from there, we headed to the Financial District and all got into that party without trouble and without charge. Soon after checking my clothes, there was a glass of vodka next to me in the hot tub and I was going down on Diego, was getting head from strangers. Lots of vodka and cigarettes were consumed, animated conversations were had, and brief, fleeting moments of sexual contact with people I may or may not ever see again occurred. There was a moment when the four of us were all smoking in the smoking room, seated on chairs next to each other, and I felt so insanely happy to be friends with these people and to be able to share these moments and to be alive right now, felt so fucking lucky and happy, and I told them this, propelled by the honesty and sentimentality that alcohol will often provoke in people, myself especially. I love them. I love these moments that I am lucky enough to have.
Yesterday, I was walking around Bushwick, the streets and sidewalks in this neighborhood not very well shoveled, large patches of ice and snow on sidewalks, the going a bit slow so you don't fall on your ass, and because of that, because of the hangover I was in yesterday, and because of the soundtrack I was listening to on my headphones, the Florence and the Machines album, I found myself overcome, so fucking overcome with the life I am living, was going at a slow enough pace physically to contemplate the landscape of this neighborhood and of my life as of late, the snowbanks, dirty, were holding in the glare of the sun, reflecting the afternoon sun, the glow so beautiful, making this industrial landscape seem real magical and my stroll through it epically cinematic. I was walking back to my house, large bags of groceries on my shoulder, happy that I was able to do this, to feed myself and sustain myself, and have a house, and great friends and this really amazing boyfriend, and to live in this town right now. And yes, there are things that I want to be doing, that I am not doing, there are friendships that are not perfect, relationships that aren't, and I could focus on those things, could detail them for you and for myself, could go on and on, but I don't want to because that's not how my mind is working these past few days. Let me tell you the song that I am listening to over and over, the song that made me download the Florence and the Machines album. It is their song, "Dog Days are Over." And I really suggest that you listen to it. I have been living in this song, playing it on repeat while I take long showers and feel really in sync with the singer, feel like I am her and these are my words, an anthem, a hymn. It's so fucking empowering to scream that the dog days are over, that the dog days are over, and that you can't carry it with you if you want to survive.
I am feeling really moved these days, real alive if I haven't said that already, but I know I have. I could surely scan up a couple of paragraphs and see that I did say so, but you can't carry it with you if you want to survive. I am focusing on the things that I have, the good things, the people who make me happy, and I am doing well. It's crazy that I am still learning such rudimentary techniques to achieve happiness at this age of 28, that I didn't know these things earlier, or didn't abide by them, thought I could change the rules I was told, that they didn't apply to me.
And last night, Jacob and I drank some cocktails at my house, listened to songs, and tried to watch "Drag Race," though my wonky internet connection did not want to cooperate with that agenda. Diego joined us for booze and conversation and then we went to Bouquot 2012 at Shea Stadium, a few blocks from my house, walked down these poorly shoveled streets of Bushwick, slipping in patches, however not one of us falling.
We waited in the line going up the stairwell and once inside I stashed my jacket underneath a bench and slowly began to lose my mind. The decorations were fantastic. The atmosphere was. Jacob remarked that it looked like a party they would go to on "Skins," and the analogy was real apt, perfect almost. I was stoned and drunk and began to dance and dance and didn't stop until three something, sweaty, but not tired, but knowing that Jacob had to be at work early. It was the most fun I have had dancing in months. I cannot think of the last time I have been to such a fun party, filled with people I love, all these various social circles overlapping at this space, this booty, dancehall rave music making me able to dance in an expressive crazy way that felt new. It wasn't the same music that I dance to all the time, that I have moves to, that there is an easy way to dance to. It was fun and I really did at times feel transported by dancing around and around, catching glimpses of faces of people I knew also dancing like crazy people, our paths briefly intersecting with a shared smile. A really good dance party is one of the best feelings in the world and this was that.
I bought Justin Taylor's Everything Here is the Best Thing Ever today and read the first story in the collection on my way home. So far, so fucking great. The mood and the style of writing are everything I desire in fiction. There was an "Oh Shit" moment though while reading it. I felt like this person maybe beat me to something, this Justin Taylor. That the tone is really similar to my attempts at fiction and worse is that he captures the awkwardness of being a young adult in Florida, a subject I have always dreamed about tackling, my life and community of being a college student in Sarasota, Florida. This first story, in six or so pages, captures that mood so fucking perfectly and I imagine if you lived in that town with me, you would probably really enjoy this book, or maybe just the first story. Maybe I should continue to read more of the book before I attempt to discourse on what the book does or does not do and whether you will or will not enjoy it.
And tonight, because it doesn't end, I am going to make dinner for Jacob when he gets off work and then go to some Butt party to see the amazing House of Ladosha perform and probably dance like a maniac again. And tomorrow, it takes a pause, work begins again. I have these goals for this week that I am really going to try to do, going to try to not be a piece of shit, and do these things, make myself an even happier person, take to heart these lessons I have been learning lately.
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